Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mastering the One-on-One Meeting

Julia Austin, Chief Technology Officer at DigitalOcean and advisor to many startups in the Boston area, has written a terrific blog post about how to conduct effective one-on-one meetings with your direct reports.  I highly recommend reading the entire post.  Here are a few highlights: 
  • "Book a regular cadence of 1:1s. They should not be ad-hoc. It’s ok to skip one every once and awhile, but having it locked into the calendar is your commitment to being there for your employee. Decide the best cadence with them (weekly or every other week? 30 minutes or an hour?) and what the format should be – your office or theirs, a walk, or maybe grabbing coffee. Different formats work for different employees... 
  • "24 hours or so before the meeting, email the employee a list of what you’d like to cover. Try to do a split between strategic, tactical and personal items and always ask your employee what they want to cover too."
  • "Do not monopolize the conversation. This is for you each to get time to talk. Pause often and make sure there is opportunity for discussion and questions."
  • "It is important to always follow up any 1:1 (or scheduled meeting, for that matter) with notes on what was discussed, decisions made and, if relevant, any constructive feedback that will be measured going forward." 

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