I’m a huge fan of 1:1s since being introduced to them a few years ago. At first, I viewed them as a great mechanism to check in with team members on a regular basis. We’d review work and get caught up on projects and initiatives. But slowly I’ve embraced the “Make it Awkward” approach, as outlined in a great Medium post from Mark Rabkin.
In short, the goal is to get to the stuff underneath the surface. What makes your report happy? What are they frustrated about? Are they growing in the ways they want to grow? There’s fertile, human stuff in this territory that builds trust. And as just about every management book and guru ever will tell you, trust is the cornerstone to a successful team.
This is all well and good, except it can be one thing to say you want to make it awkward, and another to actually do it. Which is why 1on.one is such a great tool. The website is a random 1:1 question generator built by Joe Goldberg and based on the Lighthouse blog post “One on One Meeting Questions Great Managers Ask Their Teams.”
I’ve started using the tool to kick-start 1:1s with my team members. It’s like rolling a roulette wheel—we just pull up the website and find a question waiting for us. Here are a few examples:
What’s one aspect of your job where you would like more help or coaching?
What is the #1 problem at our company? Why?
What worries you? What’s on your mind?
What are your big dreams in life? Are you making progress on them?
So, what are you waiting for? Hit the button…
Also published on Medium.