Refocusing on 1:1s

I have been grappling with the desire to improve my 1:1 meetings recently. As a manager, I want 1:1 meetings to focus on the needs of my reports and not be a status or progress report of their current work. But I don't want to burden anyone with preparing an agenda and no-agenda meeting can cause anxiety. So here are some areas I will try and touch on each week.

  1. Wellness: Are you safe and well? You needn’t disclose personal information, but I’m here to listen, especially if work is impacting your well-being. Do you feel physically and psychologically safe, is your work/life balance compatible with your mental health?
  2. Readiness: Are you set up to succeed? Do you have what you need to meet your goals, starting with a clear understanding of what those are? What resources (material, support, or even just help and advice) might I provide that could help you be successful?
  3. Obstacles: What is standing in your way? One of my primary roles as your manager is to help identify and clear obstacles to your progress. Let’s talk about anything that is slowing you down or anything that could speed you up.
  4. Recognition: Since we last met, what did you accomplish that you feel good about? No achievement is too small. It's silly to scramble for a list at the end of the year. Let’s note each achievement, while they're fresh in our minds.
  5. Feedback: How I am doing as your manager? I promise to always to open and honest with you and I hope you can do the same for me. I would like to hear what I can do better and differently to become a better manager.

I am also working out how to bridge the gap between being productive and casual within 1:1's. I don't want to lose the general chit chat aspect of this calls as a good report with your reports is very important.