Hi everyone.
I currently work in an IT support role for a school in the UK and I only have 1 direct. We work in the same room about 6 feet from each other and we constantly discuss problems, issues, etc that we encounter. I am technically his direct line manager although we operate very much like peers (is that in itself a sign of poor management??). I've been his manager for about 2.5 years and because of our working environment we have become good friends. However, I have only started working on my own professional development fairly recently and so my question is whether or not I need to holding O3 sessions with him? I understand the theory and usefulness of regular O3's, so I would like to know their applicability to my scenario or whether scheduled meetings would be overkill.
Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

HMac's picture

Hi taff -

My vote: they're applicable. And I'm betting they'll be appreciated (because O3's are an important sign of recognition by the manager).

Sure, they might be a little different because of your prximity and working relationship - and they might be a little bit shorter than 30 minutes.

But your signal - that you want to set aside a specific time every week to check in with your direct - is very positive.


jhack's picture

Do the one on one. It's different than talking about work. It might be easier if you went and got coffee together, or some other "non work" environment.


cb_bob's picture

Taff -

Definitely do the O3s.

I used to have only one direct. Both she and I found our weekly O3 to be VERY valuable even though we spoke nearly every day. Now I have 19 directs who (mostly) look forward to our weekly O3 meetings.

[b]BLOB[/b] (bottom line on the bottom) - O3s are the single most valuable appointment(s) in your schedule no matter how many people report to you.


BJ_Marshall's picture
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[quote="taff"]However, I have only started working on my own professional development fairly recently[/quote]

It's great to hear that you're working on your professional development. I wish more people around my workplace did.

How are you developing/coaching your direct? Enter the third 10-minute part of the O3. There's a lot of power in these little 30 minutes....


eagerApprentice's picture

I agree. I say go for the 03 too. Something about that "manager-to-direct" chit chat that has a lot of value for both manager and direct.

The direct knows you are taking this time out of your "to-do" schedule and his "to-do" schedule just for him, to talk about his career, job, kids or whatever else, because it is important. That's speaks well to the direct on two levels, whether they are your friend or not. :)

trandell's picture

I completely agree with cb_bob. I have one direct that I speak with a lot. The weekly O3 slot is guaranteed time to not talk about the daily grind of projects and tasks. It's a place your direct has your undivided attention for their more personal issues related to how they are doing in the big picture and for them the learn more of what you expect from them.

Do it and keep doing it. You're relationship will be that much better for it.