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Yikes! My boss just told me she wants to attend my one on ones.
It's not really a one on one with another person there, is it.
I did not feel I could say no, she was very clear when I asked for clarification. She said she does not intend to attend all of them every week.
I gave my staff a heads up on this change, not sure what else to do....
I will try to meet informally with each person as well.
Thoughts / Ideas?
BTW, my boss has not been at all hands on, never given any direction or feedback, but now has also scheduled 2xweekly for me. Feels a little ominous...I've only been here 6 months.

jhack's picture

No, it's not a one on one if your boss sits in and observes. ("...paging Dr. Heisenberg...")

Several possibilities here:

1. she's making a list for those tough layoff conversations coming soon.
2. she's got to do year end performance reviews and is collecting data.
3. she's been told to be more involved, and this seemed like a good way to do it.

If management isn't planning layoffs, then you can be pretty sure she'll stop doing it soon. Just ride it out.

If they are planning layoffs, well, better brush up on the various relevant podcasts.

For the short term, avoid the personal stuff. You can ask "how's it going" at the start, but don't go into it any more than that. Get into work and project review discussions, then into planning for next year (career conversations).

John

fchalif's picture

Abbykin,

Has your boss given you an idea of her purpose in attending the O3s with your Directs?
Do you have O3s with her?
Does she know your purpose for having the O3s?

Since she is your boss, it is not advisable that you refuse the request. Depending on your relationship with her though, you may feel that it is appropriate to ask some background questions that will clarify her purpose to you.

Otherwise, as John said, you just have to ride it out. It likely will fizzle out.

US41's picture

Question 1 on the Boss IQ test has to be "What do you do when you find out that your direct holds one on one meetings 30 minutes per week every week with their directs?"

Choose the best answer:

A. Try to attend them
B. Order them to stop that
C. Ask to get copies of all notes taken
D. Just smile and say, "That's nice that you try to communicate more with your folks. I look forward to increased performance from your team."
E. Have all O3 meetings rescheduled to suit your calendar and hold them in your office without your direct present.

I'm starting to think that the one on one podcasts should say, "Just don't tell your boss you are doing this. They won't get it. Your boss will think that you are plotting revolution in these secret and dangerous meetings."

I agree with the two previous posts.

abbykin's picture

So, she did not actually attend any of my O3 meetings this week.
I did have my first formal O3 with my boss the next morning.
Part of her message was that I may be spending too much time on meetings and tracking the details of my staff's work at this busy time of year, and that I should rely more on informal check ins. Informal checkins are great, I could surely work more on that, it would be easier if we were not so busy. I don't like to interrupt unnecessarily. But, good feedback nonetheless.
I think she is interested in getting a better knowledge of what is up with the team, and I do suspect that it will pass.
It seems like a lot of people in the organization think meetings are a waste of time. They can be, but I think the organization would work better if we all got better at having meetings and making them useful and effective, rather than avoiding them. Time will tell....

RobRedmond's picture

[quote="abbykin"]I did have my first formal O3 with my boss the next morning. Part of her message was that I may be spending too much time on meetings and tracking the details of my staff's work at this busy time of year, and that I should rely more on informal check ins. [/quote]

Ironic, isn't it, how your boss condemns O3's at this time of year while calling you in for one. You gotta love bosses. "They" (we) are awesome. If only I could eliminate all stupid stuff that I do from my behaviors, I'm sure fewer people would think I am "awesome" too.

Informal check ins work great - except for the part where you are only tracking your staff's work and not finding out the important stuff, such as "I am being tested for cancer this week." or "My son was arrested."

So, do informal check ins with your folks. Block out enough time on your calendar to do informal check ins for 30 minutes each with your folks, and then walk around to each of them and, oh, look, a handy O3 form in my hand! How convenient for this informal check in.

Make your own private on-paper list of who you visit first during the block you have in outlook. Walk up to them and say, "So, how are things going?" Listen to them for about ten minutes. Then you can tell them what is going on from your notes for ten minutes. Then take off to the next one. ;)

Helping other managers have secret and dangerous one on ones makes me feel so ALIVE! :twisted: