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Is there anybody willing to share his One on One template for taking notes ? I have now been assigned a direct report for the first time and I'd like to begin doing this.

F.

BJ_Marshall's picture

F.,

Kudos for you on starting O3s!

Did you take a look at MT's template? [url]http://www.manager-tools.com/podcasts/Manager-Tools_One_on_One_Basics.pd...

I will have my first O3 next week (I scheduled them a few weeks ago), and I intend to use the template as-is. Maybe after we use the template for a few weeks, we'll get a better idea how to tailor it based on the Direct Report's DiSC profile.

Cheers,
BJ

tcomeau's picture

I use a lightly modified version of this one: http://www.manager-tools.com/podcasts/Manager-Tools_One_on_One_Basics.doc

Mark talks about how to use the form in the second-half podcast.

All I've done is split the form out from the supporting materials (the basics at the front and the questions at the bottom) and changed the "Horstman and Company" to "Space Telescope Systems Engineering".

I have the supporting materials on a separate page in the back of the book. I keep a supply of blank forms in a binder, along with filled-out forms for each O3, and spend some time reviewing and filling out my parts of the form for each person I'm meeting with that day.

Glad to see you're starting off right!

tc>

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Congratuations on your first direct and for starting out right.

There's a template attached to the [url=http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/07/the-single-most-effective-managemen... post relating to the O3 cast[/url]. That's probably as good a starting point as any, download the .DOC version, hack out the bits you don't need (you probably don't want to keep the first page, mostly about the whys and whens, on every copy although you may want to keep it separately and review it periodically) and add in any extras you think you'll need and you should be good to go.

Stephen

jgfellow's picture

I used the MT template for my first 3 months in my current position. When the first quarterly reviews came up, I went through my notes. I found that they offered relatively little help in writing my reviews. I blame myself more than M&M, but I think the point is that you can derive some value by creating your own templates.

My folks do highly individualized analytical work (mostly mathematical and statistical forecasting). They also do mostly long-term projects. I developed a form that captures information on their progress on these kinds of projects.

I would be happy to share the forms with anyone interested, but with two caveats:

1) They are still works in progress
2) I would expect that someone else would want to tailor the form to their department, just as I have.

Some day, I'd love to hear a podcast on creating a template to fit different kinds of jobs. That sounds like something which is just up M&M's alley...

Cheers.

rwwh's picture

[quote="jgfellow"]My folks do highly individualized analytical work (mostly mathematical and statistical forecasting). They also do mostly long-term projects. I developed a form that captures information on their progress on these kinds of projects.[/quote]

I am wondering about this. As an R&D manager, I recognize the long-term scientific project part. But to my opinion, detailed progress reporting on these projects does not belong in the O3s. I only discuss focus and direction of selected projects (priorities, deadlines, deliverables, and feedback), and conflicts in resource allocation in the O3s. And the rest of the O3 time is spent talking about stuff that is not related to projects.

I have been made aware by people in my team that discussing project progress in O3s is dangerous, since an O3 excludes all other stakeholders and minutes are not published.

jgfellow's picture

RWWH,

I must confess that I am surprised by your response. Let's say that one of your directs is behind on a project. Would it be dangerous to discuss this in an O3?

I would think that it would be better to discuss the progress (or lack thereof) in the one-on-one, so that the focus could be on feedback, and not on assignment of blame.

Perhaps I misundertood your original point.

jhack's picture

jg,

I think it's a matter balance. O3's aren't project status meetings. Of course you'll discuss some project matters.

The danger is that it BECOMES a status meeting. When it's only about the project, rather than the person, it's not an O3 anymore.

Person first.

John

jgfellow's picture

I hear you. And my form does include a space for "personal info" in which I've collected information on spouses, injuries and favorite sports teams.

And I also do experience the problem that my folks want to talk about their projects. I begin every single OOO with the open ended question "How are things going?" (sometimes: "What's up?") The first 10-15 minutes are rigorously kept according to the agenda of the direct. If the direct wishes to talk about specific projects (and they often do) I let them. It's their bucket.

So far, I think that we are all on the same page. But this discussion thread is really about: what should be on the form. Not: what's the point of OOOs. So I'll posit the following:

A major value of the forms (as per M&M) is that they are a great source of data when Quarterly Review time comes up. So the question becomes, what kinds of information should you capture on your OOO form in order to gain that benefit when Quarterly Review time comes around?

I'll admit that my form is a work on progress, and I'd love to hear suggestions from those following this thread. But I started by saying "I want to capture information about behavior, bad and good, on my directs' projects. That way, when I am preparing my Quarterly Review text, I will be able to tie my ratings to specific behaviors and their effects on projects.

So I am interested in the following questions:

1) Do people agree that OOO forms should be useful in preparing QRs?
2) What kinds of information do people capture to make that happen?
3) Are people concerned that capturing this kind of information will keep the OOO from serving its purpose?

Cheers,
JG

BJ_Marshall's picture

[quote="jgfellow"]So I am interested in the following questions:

1) Do people agree that OOO forms should be useful in preparing QRs?
2) What kinds of information do people capture to make that happen?
3) Are people concerned that capturing this kind of information will keep the OOO from serving its purpose?[/quote]

JG,

1. I think O3 forms are invaluable for preparing quarterly reviews.

2. I can look back at my forms and see accomplishments, status of projects (like jhack said: Even if O3s are about the people, you're going to discuss project matters), areas where I've given continual feedback/coaching, and I can see the progress of my staff's professional development.

[b]Example 1:[/b] I had a woman working for me for only three months (job rotation). She didn't quite ever grasp how to do the data analysis stuff, and I have that recorded. We'd set small goals, and our O3s tracked the progress (ahem, lack thereof) toward those goals.

[i]How it ties into QR:[/i] One of our critical elements in our performance plans is business results. Not being able to analyze our data fits.

[b]Example 2:[/b] Another of my directs wants to get better at running effective meetings. (Yes! - I plugged the MT site and podcasts, which she's listened to.) Part of our O3s is me coaching bit by bit on that skill.

[i]How it ties into QR:[/i] Another critical element in our performance plans is knowledge sharing, teamwork, and professional development.

3. I'm not concerned about the O3s becoming less effective by capturing all this information. I happen to think it increases its effectiveness.

BJ

jgfellow's picture

BJ,

You and I are very much on the same page (so to speak). That's exactly the kind of information I try to gather using my form. I do have two fields in which I collect "coaching" and "feedback." The feedback piece I jot down before the meeting, to remind myself what I intend to say (more on this in a minute). The coaching field I collect during the meeting, when we come to that topic.

The interesting part of this discussion has been: how do you succesfully collect invaluable data on projects without losing the character of the OOO? My fields currently say "status" and "issues." But you and the others on this thread are implying me towards something more like "positive behavior" and "negative behavior." I wouldn't phrase it that way, as I imagine it might be off-putting. But that's what I am trying to collect, so I might as well make it easy.

Incidentally, I know that feedback isn't best handled once a week. My goal is that this section is for informal recapitulations of the most crucial feedback. Realistically, I do sometimes defer feedback, since this is the first change I get to really provide it. But I am aware that this isn't ideal...

JG

rwwh's picture

[quote="jgfellow"]RWWH,

I must confess that I am surprised by your response. Let's say that one of your directs is behind on a project. Would it be dangerous to discuss this in an O3?[/quote]

This would be very appropriate, but it would not require a change to the form. I am assuming you [i]know[/i] that he is behind, and you [i]should[/i] discuss this fact (feedback, possibly help to remedy). But you should not discuss the [i]content[/i] of the project in the O3. O3's are not project meetings, they do not have the right attendees.

jgfellow's picture

RWWH,

I agree with you. My form lists the projects on which each direct is working and gives me a space to fill in "issues." That would be "is behind" or "offended person X" or whatever. It is not my goal to discuss the content of projects, just the behaviors which I intend to manage towards or away from.

So why change the form? Explicitly for the reason I mentioned above. When I went to do my first round of Quarterly Reviews, I found that I just hadn't collected enough information of use. I am sure that it is possible for a manager to collect enough information using the original OOO form. But I reasoned that, with some effort, I could tailor the form so that it would be better for me. I do not believe that my form would be better for all managers of modelers. Rather, that it is better for J. G. Fellow (in his current role).

It is possible that you believe my current OOO form is actually worse for J. G. Fellow in his current role, because it will cause him to have the wrong conversations in OOOs. That may be, but I don't think so. My directs do talk a lot about the content of their projects. This doesn't bother me and I intend to start a new thread to hear your (and other's) thoughts on the subject. But I don't think that this is because of the form. My folks want to talk about their projects during their 10 minutes, and I am uncomfortable stopping them. But that's a discussion for another thread.

jg

IanPratt's picture

Hi, here is an excellent how to guide for doing one on ones

[url]http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com/Team-Leadership-Skills-Week-3.html[/...

A few people I know use this page as a referral and they all love it, especially when they are coaching managers on how to do one on ones. (All the information is free)

Hope it helps

AManagerTool's picture

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your post and Welcome to the Manager Tools forums. We want to hear from you but you will find that cross posting is not usually tolerated well here. Manager Tools has a whole suite of free information on One on One's. If your intention is to add to that discussion then thanks again. If it is to drive traffic to your website then please stop. If I am mistaken about your intention, please accept my humble apologies.

Once again, Welcome :D

I am going to start a form letter for these posts...

HMac's picture

Ian - I've clicked through to the materials you linked. I'd be interested to know if you've listened to the [i]Manager-Tools [/i]casts on One-on-One's.

[list]If you haven't, listen to their approach - just so you can give context to your recommendation.

If you have listened to the casts, I'd find it valuable for you to compare and contrast Mike and Mark's approach with the material you reference.[/list:u]

Here's the link to the One-on-Ones:
http://www.manager-tools.com/category/one-on-ones

-Hugh

cwatine's picture

I have mixed feelings about what I read here.

I also am sometimes tempted by enriching my O3 templates with new parts like :
- Feedback
- Acomplishments
- Relationships
- Coaching
Just to be sure not to forget to talk about all subjects.

At the same time, my tendency is to talk too much to my directs during the O3 and not let them talk enough. As I wrote somewhere else, I always force myself to think "Listen, don't talk ... Listen, don't talk ..." before each O3. So in my opinion, structuring too much the O3, carries the risk to make it less "natural" ...

The way which I found the best was to have this little list (Feedback, acomplishments, Relationships and Coaching) with me when I PREPARE my O3 (it takes 5 minutes to screen it), in order to fill the "what I have to say" part.

I will try to add those 4 parts in my templates and see if it works well ... I will keep you posted on that.

Another thing I am now doing regularly is to keep sticky notes with me all the time. When a subject that I will need to talk about during the next O3 comes to my mind, I write "For Michael O3 : blablablabla" and I stick it in my binder for the next O3 with Michael.

cwatine's picture

I'll try with the following entries :
- Personal
- Information to give and comment
- Feedback
- Relation with team
- Coaching
- Follow-up of acomplishments, goals, and MG (*) (**)
- for next O3

(*) MG is MAIN GOAL. It is the main goal for the whole structure for that period of time (I am using the method from Lencioni : each period has a MG for the whole company and the 5 directs I have, who are the managers of the company are active on it).

(**) Each section for each direct also holds two documents :
- actions follow-up : it is a simple chart with states action/for when/measure/done when. It allows me to review if the direct stands for the actions he is in charge
- personal goals : it is a simple sheet of paper with the general goals of the direct (yes, they are not all under the MT format yet !). It allows me not to forget any of them.

HMac's picture

[quote="cedwat"]
As I wrote somewhere else, I always force myself to think "Listen, don't talk ... Listen, don't talk ..." before each O3. So in my opinion, structuring too much the O3, carries the risk to make it less "natural" ...
[/quote]
Cedric - you just put your finger on what's been bugging me about this thread...I've been reading all the posts, and there's just been something nagging at me. And look, I am a bigtime "Form Maker" myself - so I know I wasn't bothered by the idea of customizing the O3 form to particular circumstances.

But that observation of yours really helped: the manager has to be REALLY careful that attention to the form doesn't lead to more attention to the manager's agenda!

Maybe there's a rule of thumb: for every alteration to the form, you have to add the word "LISTEN!" in 14pt type!

-Hugh

cwatine's picture

As I am experimenting this form, I tried to prepare my next O3 with it.
The good point is that it kind of forces you to screen all subjects.

In order not to fall in the trap you describe, I will have to force myself to not take any initiative in the Direct's part of the O3.

In parallel of this O3 form, I have built up two other forms :
- "actions to follow", which is a simple chart with 4 collumns : Action to do / for when / measure / date of acomplishment
- "MT Goals", which has 4 collumns : Goal / Due Date / measure / date and accomplishment

I did it after I reviewed my O3 forms in order to prepare the semi-annual reviews for my team. I realised that some actions and, worst, MT goals had "fallen between cracks". I feel I have been guilty of a poor follow-up or of not having re-ajusted some goals due to unprevisible circumstances.

Let's see if I'll do better with those tools.

__________________________________________________________

Another thing about Goals

As I previouly said, for each of my direct, we try to have a maximum number of MT goals linked to the MG.
MG stands for "Main goal". I have found this was really a powerfull principle.
The MG is the main goal for the team for a period of time. The team has to choose only ONE MAIN GOAL for the organisation.
For example : last semester goal was "Put in place a stable and professional aftersales service for product line X and Y", this semester, it is : "Reorganize sales by splitting sales development team and customer retention team".
Of course, this MG is then broken down in several more detailed MT goals which are "Measurable and Time bound".

Why do I find this very powerfull ?
A) it makes it a team work !
B) focus the org on one thing at a time makes it happen quicker !
C) forcing the team to select ONE GOAL clarifies strategy A LOT !
B) determining MT goals from the MG seems much more logical than determining from each direct (going from the General to the Detailed ...)

IanPratt's picture

Thanks for your feedback, My goal for having a web site is to share information freely. It is a hobby at the moment not a business and I am keen for traffic from search engines, not so much from other sources.

I have only just found your site through goodle alerts and will have a good look (I mistakenly thought it was only a blogg).

Thanks for your feedback

IanPratt's picture

Hey, thanks for sharing the prodcast, it was great! :D

I quite often refer to [u]one on ones being done monthly[/u], however when I manage projects, project managers or business analysts I have them weekly.

In other roles I tend to have them monthly. Though I use a high level of informal communication and feedback, through Management by walking around, or creating opportunities to have employee touch points.

My approach is to look at the total amount of employee time when combining both formal and informal dedicated communication.

Though I am open to influence, let me know your thoughts

Ian
[url]http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com[/url]

cwatine's picture

in my opinion (and experience) once per month is not enough.

Why do I prefer once per week?
1) more difficult to skip once you have settled the rythm
2) they are limited to 1/2 hour
3) allows you smaller corrections. The more time between O3, the biggest corrections have to be each time.
4) allows me not to do "management by walking around", because I don't like walking around, and concentrate my "management time" around O3 and Team meeting

jhack's picture

Weekly. Yes, you'll miss a few along the way, but monthly means only six hours a year with your direct. That is simply not enough.

John

IanPratt's picture

How do you feel about the differences in role function, for example a highly structured role like a call centre verses a project environment.

And

Coaching verse one on one's, for example if you have a skills coaching session each week, would you also have a one on one each week?

Ian
[url]http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com[/url]

cwatine's picture

[quote="IanPratt"]
Coaching verse one on one's, for example if you have a skills coaching session each week, would you also have a one on one each week?

Ian
[url]http://www.whatmakesagoodleader.com[/url][/quote]

No versus here : they are merged. Coaching occurs during O3. I now have integrated a "coaching paragraph" in my O3 template.

I am not sure to understand the question about structured/unstructured roles. O3 are the way to increase communication between manager and direct. So I feel it does not depend on the kind of work they are doing.

bffranklin's picture

[quote="cedwat"]
No versus here : they are merged. Coaching occurs during O3. I now have integrated a "coaching paragraph" in my O3 template.[/quote]

I think one of the real beauties of the MT coaching method is that it takes so little of the manager's time, and really puts the onus on the direct for being responsible for his own development. We blazed through coaching in New York because it's really just that easy.

-B

cwatine's picture

Agreed.

On another side ... It is so easy and quick to do that I frequently find myslef forgetting to address this topic during my O3. I think I am not the only one.

This is why I have added this entry in my template. It does not work perfect, so I am thinking about having a separate template for each of my directs for the coaching follow-up, just to keep track of their improvement, week by weeK.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="cedwat"]I am not sure to understand the question about structured/unstructured roles. O3 are the way to increase communication between manager and direct. So I feel it does not depend on the kind of work they are doing.[/quote]

My take on structured vs unstructured roles relates to comparing my current job with a previous one; comparing being a database administrator (DBA) in a support environment with being a technical lead in a projects environment.

As a DBA, in particular in a support environment, my job description pretty much defined my job. It defined a set of tasks and responsibilities that defined what I did each day. Virtually everything I did in my job was specified in that job description, to do my job I did not have to step outside of or exceed it to do my job successfully. It constrained my job and stepping outside of it or exceeding it would have been viewed as undesirable by my management. That was a structured role. I had one manager to whom I was responsible for my work and who oversaw my development.

In my current role I have a job description but about the only part of it that applies to my work is where it says "and any other duties required." I work in a matrixed projects environment where I have two managers, a line manager who is responsible for my development but I don't see for months at a time and an assignment manager who is responsible for my day to day work but will change when I move projects, and most of my goals change with the project I'm assigned to. What I did last week may not be what I'm doing this week and next week I may be doing something entirely different. On paper my current role is that of a Business Analyst but right now I'm doing project management and communications. In the past year I've procured hardware and software, designed procedures, written software, organised training and carried out troubleshooting. I'm expected to be able to turn my hand to pretty much anything that comes up. That's an unstructured role.

It the structured role environment O3s are fairly easy. There's a single manager who should have a good idea of what their directs are doing, why they're doing it and what their likely development needs are. In an unstructured role environment such as where I am working now there's an immediate problem with O3s, who does them? The assignment manager who may only be in place for a few months or even weeks or the line manager they may rarely see? Our senior management have identified the lack of any relationship between line managers and their 'directs' as an issue. I have proposed O3s as a possible tool for promoting contact. Weekly is possibly too much to hope for but monthly or fortnightly may be possible and better than the nothing we have now (I haven't seen my line manager since February!)

Stephen

cwatine's picture

Have you listen to the podcast about management in the matrix?
I think you are the perfect example.

Ced.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="cedwat"]Have you listen to the podcast about management in the matrix?
I think you are the perfect example.

Ced.[/quote]

I've not listened to it yet but have read the shownotes. A lot of it is applicable, although some of the fine detail of our organisation might get in the way of implementing some reccomendations. If I'm understanding it correctly what in the cast M&M refer to as a resource manager is what we call a line manager and when they talk about being matrixed to someone or someone being matrixed to you that's what we call an assignment manager.

There seems to be an implicit assumption in the cast that you and your directs both have the same employer. We're a joint venture (JV) company between a large public sector body and a private sector company. The majority of permanent workers are employed by one or other of the parent companies, a few are directly employed by the JV. We also have a large number of people working as contractors and consultants for periods ranging from days to years (mostly in the 6 to 12 months range). Whilst your line manger will always be someone employed by the same organisation as you, your assignment manager could be employed by any of the organisations involved and could even be a consultant.

Also assignments can be very short term or only for a very limited number of hours per week. For example someone has been assigned to me on a zero hour assignment, he tells me when he has time in his schedule from his main assignment and I pass him any tasks I need to have done that can be done in the time he has available. I couldn't do anything like an O3 with him.

There are also organisation political issues with assignment managers from one employer doing O3s with directs from another employer.

As I said, I've proposed O3s as a tool for line managers to maintain contact with their 'directs', we'll see if anything comes of it.

Stephen

cwatine's picture

Wow ... This is complicated.

It seems that some of the people you give work to would be considered as external subcontractors. As you say, O3 given to a person who can take work when he is available is useless. I don't even see how you can efficiently delegate to him...

It looks like what I call "work oriented toward resources" and "not toward results". It is one of the paradygm we often have to break when we go for a LEAN mission : the idea that you have to keep people and machines busy ...
It is often counterproductive. The purpose of an organization is not to keep people busy or machines working. It is to give value added to customer.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="cedwat"]Wow ... This is complicated.

It seems that some of the people you give work to would be considered as external subcontractors. As you say, O3 given to a person who can take work when he is available is useless. I don't even see how you can efficiently delegate to him...[/quote]

That is an extreme case. More usual is someone may be assigned to Project A for Monday through Wednesday and Project B for Thursday and Friday or they may be assigned full time to Project A or even two days a week to Project A and a day and a half each to Projects B and C. These assignments may be of differing lengths and/or have different start and end dates, so they may be assigned to Projects A and B this week, just Project A next week and then projects A and C the week after. The odds are they will have a different assignment manager for each project.

There isn't really a concept of a project team as people are constantly rolling on and off projects so you may be working with a group of people for a few months then they roll off the project because the tasks that need their particular skills are over and another group roll on. You could also be in the position where your assignment manager rolls off but you don't so you get a new assignment manager. Add in that we're hot desking and it can get very confusing.

Not the place to be a High-S, the rate of change would make their head explode.

Stephen