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Hey, guys. Sorry if this was already covered somewhere.

In setting the agenda for the one-on-one, how do you prioritize what we talk about? For me, I work at a medium-size company and have four direct reports. We have weekly team meetings and talk all the time throughout the week on the status of our work. So in the one-on-one, we should talk about:

1) Development, i.e. where the direct wants to go and what coaching I can provide
2) Personal stuff. Just shoot the breeze or talk about direct's overall satisfaction.

Is this correct?

WillDuke's picture

1st ten minutes - whatever they want.
2nd ten minutes - whatever you want.
last ten minutes - coaching. (sometimes I don't get this 10.)

Time's pretty loose in these for me. I have my notes of things that need to be covered, but I like the loose feel of it. I never have trouble hitting my points.

Sometimes their stuff is just personal stuff, sometimes it work stuff, sometimes it's career stuff. You never really know. The important thing is that they get to say what they feel they need to say. Once they know they're being heard then they're happy. :)

ckondek's picture

Thanks, Will, and thanks in advance to whoever else would like to contribute. So, I, too, have listened to the podcast a couple times and it's still kinda unclear to me. How do you present it to your directs? How do you help them decide what they want to bring to the meeting?

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="ckondek"]How do you present it to your directs? How do you help them decide what they want to bring to the meeting?[/quote]

I presented the structure as outlined by M&M...and let my team know well in advance that the O3s were not because of performance problems. I reinforced this fact by first letting them know that I was "thinking about" doing O3s...and kept letting them know that the O3s were coming after our Fall rush of activity.

I sent out an email message alerting all my directs to sign up for a designated time slot and then we started meeting weekly.

Like WillDuke indicates, sometimes it's personal (family) but mostly it is about work and professional development.

What to bring? I have my notebook and a few bring theirs. After just a few cycles everyone is pretty good about tracking to do items.

WillDuke's picture

To notify directs I used the sample email that M&M provide. I think that does a real good job of explaining the O3 system.

One of Horstman's laws is "You aren't that smart and they're not that dumb." Or something like that. Let them decide what to bring. Each will have their own priorities. A high D personality isn't going to want to bring personal stuff, at least not right away. A high C is going to bring in a notebook with lots of specifics that "need your attention."

Let them do what makes them comfortable. There is no right and wrong here. They're getting a piece of your time for their purposes, that's the key.

I'm not trying to be vague, I'm just saying that it's going to be different for each direct. Don't try to force it. After a few meetings you'll get into a groove and you'll be a lot more comfortable.

jhack's picture

And what they bring will vary week to week with projects, events in their personal lives, etc.

As for the other two sections, you should focus on them, not team or company issues. Development plans, career objectives, performance issues, and so forth. Things you wouldn't cover in the staff meetings.

John

ckondek's picture

Thanks, guys. Me team and I meet weekly and talk often throughout the week over the cube walls, so for us there's not a lot of status report-type things not getting attention. I'll just start doing them and see what happens.

WillDuke's picture

[quote]Me team and I meet weekly and talk often throughout the week over the cube walls, so for us there's not a lot of status report-type things not getting attention. I'll just start doing them and see what happens.[/quote]
Hopefully what will happen is the streaming updates slow down affording you more time to focus on your job. Imagine, time to focus on your own agenda! :)

JorrianGelink's picture

I agree with letting your team member bring up what they need to say first. Instead of it being a "one on one meeting because the manager has to" it is more of a "one on one meeting because my manager cares" because the focus should and always be on who you are talking to. They are the center of gravity and they may bring up things you aren't aware about which could benefit everyone and the team.

Of course out of respect and human nature, once you ask for your turn to talk, that team member will say "Alright thanks for hearing me out! What did you want to bring up?" and it makes the conversation go smooth and be more meaningful for both people involved.

ckondek's picture

It's going to be interesting how this plays out with my team. We talk *all the time* and are very chummy, so having one-on-ones seemed, at first, to me redundant. But then I'm thinking there must be things they might want to talk about with me that they simply don't get to bring up due to whatever circumstance so one-on-ones are necessary.

WillDuke's picture

Try Mark's favorite test of how good your communication really is. Walk up to one and say: "Can I give you some feedback?"

Their response will let you know how good your communication really is. :)

Now, when I tried that, they stepped back and closed up. They don't any more, but they did even though I thought we talked all the time too.

Now with the O3s going for over a year we really do have good communication. Now I know about issues before they blow all the way up. I think my people are happier too.

Let us know how it works out for you.