I'm taking on a completely new role starting next week.  In a very short time, I have to prep myself for a management role that I have absolutely no experience in.  Despite being a very small team, I have two very senior & experience Individual Contributors reporting to me; one of which was an ex-Senior-Mgr of a different organization.  Now, that's very tricky already for a newbie like myself!

While I plan out on my First-90-days, having bi-weekly O3s is definitely on the list.  Is there a preferred "time" for O3s? I imagined it would be good to have it at the beginning of the week so that the question "How can I be of most help" would make sense.  But I fear it's too early in the week for them to feel like opening up.  Mid-week seems possible too but would my subordinates think that I'm taking up their precious productive time? End of the week is where most would have wound down (i assume).  

So, is there any best practice? Or, I just give them a week to decide which day works for them?

akinsgre's picture

I think this was specifically addressed in one of the early O3 podcasts, and I hope I'm remembering correctly.

Pick some open times in your calendar and give them a choice.  Don't schedule them early Monday, or late Friday.

stevesim's picture

I recall some additional guidance;

Avoid first thing in the morning to allow time to deal with urgent issues that may have occurred overnight.

Avoid last thing in day in order to allow for staff who may be concerned about leaving on time to attend a family or other function.

Holding O3s in the earlier part of the week allows for the flexibility to re-schedule an O3 for the same week if a last minute conflict arises for you or the direct. If you are following the suggested schedule of weekly then rescheduling into the next week means 2 in the same week which is typically not that effective.

Steve Simmons

Singers's picture


First off I would start by advising you to do the 03's weekly, I wasnt sure though if you only have two direct's or if you just mentioned that a couple of them was very senior & experienced, but if you have less then 10 people I would go with weekly. 

You are their manager, if you say their key priority is to have weekly 1:1's with you, they will need to prioritise it. 
With regards to the time, I have scheduled mine early in the morning between 7-9, as my people are in, but there are rarely other meetings. It's key to me that as little as possible rescheduling need to take place. Any day a week will do, remember though, ask your directs when it would suit them best (give them a couple of options on what's available in your calender), M&M have some good advise in the 03 cast.

Kind Regards
Mads Sorensen
Disc 4536

SamBeroz's picture

When I proposed the time slots I made sure their were both morning and afternoon slots to support peoples different work habits.  One rule I've added is that I'd prefer to not schedule an O3 with someone on the same day that I will see them in a team meeting.  This means I get to hear from them at two different points each week.  - Sam

bwscott's picture

I would suggest weekly as well. My directs are all at different locations and that really helps each of us to bridge the miles between locations. I've also found that the one direct that felt this was a "waste of time" now sees just how much value there is in the O3. I think you will find within a short period of time that this is one of your most valuable relation tools with your folks.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Don't do them every other week.  Unless you've got more than 15 directs, weekly matters.


Our other guidance is simple:

Try to avoid Monday mornings (meetings then slow things down) and Friday afternoons (no flexibility).  Exception is if you have staff who are on the road during the week, don't schedule them for over the phone when they're gone when you could do them face to face when they're in the office.

Earlier in the week (Mon PM, Tues and Wed) is generally preferred by most managers for flexibility.

Some managers prefer all on one day (a problem on any of the other 4 days of the week don't mess up any O3s).  Some prefer spread out (yes, that increases the chances that a day with a big problem probably affects 1-2 O3s, but it's not ALL of them).

Many tell us not to schedule one, then have a 30 minute break, then another.  They feel that they lost that middle half hour.

I urge you to not worry about your directs' schedules when you pick times to let them choose from.  YOUR SCHEDULE is important, too, more important than any of theirs.  The choice lets them determine what works for them.

And, make 1.5 times as many slots available to choose from as you have directs.  6 directs, offer 9 slots.

Merry Christmas all,


Annaz's picture

Thank you so much for all the inputs!

Looks like weekly O3s is really the advice here.  I "tested the water" during our first staff meeting and I could feel a slight resistance on the weekly O3s; which I guess it could be due to the fact that our job nature does require a lot of time spent on calls & meetings.  But I'm going to give it a try anyway on weekly basis on slots that they pick.


Thank you once again and Happy New Year to all of you!


Anna P.