- One On One [a16z]
- Managers, Take Your 1:1s to the Next Level with These 6 Must Reads [First Round]
- The Update, The Vent, and The Disaster
- The Essential Questions That Have Powered This Top Silicon Valley Manager’s Career [First Round]
- Question Bank for Better 1:1s [First Round]
- Listen / Learn - Catch smoke signals, understand where counterpart is at
- Cheer - Uncover wins, acknowledge wins, get excited
- Support (tactical) - Unblock, diagnose, suggest clear actions
- Develop - Learn where want to grow / develop in long-term sense
- Dedicated, weekly time (do not move or reschedule)
- As mentioned above, come prepared, some reflection to consider
- What did my report do well this past week?
- What do they need to work on? (Keep a running list that will come in handy during performance review season).
- Does the person I'm managing feel invested in your company or team goals? Why should he/she be?
- Have I clearly explained the vision or goals, and his/her part in achieving them?
- Does my direct report understand what he/she is supposed to do? How to do it
- Come prepared with talking points & questions, but follow the counterpart’s lead
Types of 1:1s to watch for…
- The update (all clear!) - This is a good conversation or normal high-quality 1:1.
- The vent (somethings up…) - Essentially a therapy session. This most often comes in the form of your report being pissed off about something. You just have to listen, not actually do anything.
- The disaster (oh dear…) - They’re freaking out, they’re going to quit, etc. This is the advanced form of the vent.
Partial Question BankOpeners
- How Are You?
- Where's your head at this week?
- How are you feeling?
- What’s top of mind for you right now?
- What priorities are you thinking about this week?
Listen / Learn
- What was the best part of this week?
- How happy were you this past week?
- Which part of your work is most fun? Least fun?
- What area are you most satisfied with? Least satisfied with?
- Is there anything you'd like to ask or highlight?
- What can I help with between now and the next time we meet?
- What is biggest challenge you are facing right now?
- What does he/she need from me or other colleagues?
- Is he/she encountering bottlenecks? Are those localized or systemic? If they’re systemic, do I need to address this bigger picture?
- Challenges - Last time we spoke you said X was challenging for you, how’s that going?
- For a project X ( These get at the root of the problem and what can be done about it.)
- What does your ideal outcome look like?
- What’s hard for you in getting to that outcome?
- What do you think is the best course of action?
- What’s the worst-case scenario you’re worried about?
- [Tools: 5 Whys, SCQA, RAPID]
- General work
- What’s the split of your time today between X/Y/Z? What would you like to spend more/less time on?
- How do you go about prioritizing your work?
- How productive were you this past week?
- What are the biggest time wasters/savers?
- What’s harder than it should be?
- What Are You Looking Forward to Working on Next?
- What motivates you?
- What is missing? training, right scope, right authority, right resources and enough time to do as you need?
- What has energized/challenged you in your role/project?
- What do you really care about?
- What are your long term goals?
- What skills do you want to improve?
- What is the area that, if you made an improvement, would give you the greatest return?
- Are there any meetings you feel you should be a part of that you’re not?
- What can I do to make you more successful?
- What was the most useful part of our conversation today?
- Does this feedback resonate with you? Why or why not?
- What feedback do you have for me?
- If you were me, what would you do differently?
- What’s the next step? How should we track or capture this?
- How do you feel about the amount of feedback you’re getting?
- What are 2 things that I can do differently or improve? What could I start or stop doing?
- What questions do you wish I would ask?