Build as strong, trusted professional relationship with your team members
Consistently ask for feedback on areas you can improve.
What is the goal of One on One’s
- Build storng trusted relationshipss with your team members
- Establish deeper connections with your team
- Identify concerns of team members that would not be discovered in a public forum
Tips for better one on ones
- Take a few minuts (7 minutes) to review your 1:1 notes from the last 1:1 bring back the memories of the last 1:1
- Pick up where you left off from the previous 1:1 if there was an intersting conversation
- Practice going deeper with big picture questions, start with a big picture question
Big picture questions
- What is holding you back from being the programer you want to be?
- If you died today, what regrets would you have about your life?
- What are you looking forward to most about the next ten years?
If you ask this question and get blank stares, be prepared to share your own experiences and thoughts on how this applies to you.
What do people think if you cancel a 1 on 1?
- He’s upset with me and doesn’t know how to talk to me about it…
- He has bad news he doesn’t want to share…
- I’m an inconvenience to him…
- I’m not really important to him…
- I can really trust the commitment’s he makes to me…
- He thinks everything is fine and we don’t need to meet, because he’s got nothing new to tell me.”
Georgia’s take on 1 on 1’s
Firstly, know that you can’t cover all of the things below every time. But being ready and prepared to, is what matters. The time you have and priorities will dictate the content. At a high level your preparation and/or template should have the following;
Get through your task list. Yes you will have short term, quick decisions and brief conversations that need to be had. But don’t make the mistake that many make and just stay in this space the whole catch up.
Give and receive feedback. Set expectations that every time you meet you will share your observations about what’s working and what could be better. Ask and expect them to do the same for you. The themes will vary but the consistency of feedback shouldn’t.
Have the career conversations. Whether it’s focusing on those bi-annual or annual KPIs (that we often set and then forget) or where your people see themselves long term. Don’t save this up for their performance reviews. There is never enough time. We can break it down into bite sized conversations and keep it in there at least monthly.
Solve a problem by asking, not telling. Problem solving is a skill we all need to develop but rarely lead by example. When people come to you with issues, we need to lean into responding with questions to help strengthen their thinking, to reduce their dependency and ideally come up with the best solution… together.