Getting ready for 1:1 conversation - Deepstash

Getting ready for 1:1 conversation

The most productive one-on-ones have some kind of structure, which requires you to do some prep beforehand. Basically, don’t just show up and chat—you’ll lose precious time in rambling conversations.

  • Is this time-sensitive? If it’s urgent, don’t wait for your next meeting to provide an update. Mention anything urgent in real time so your manager can quickly help you before the going gets too tough.
  • How complicated is my update? If you find yourself drafting an essay-length email to your manager, that’s a good sign your update is better suited for in person. On the other hand, if it’s short and sweet, go on and send over an email, but don’t let it cut into precious one-on-one time.
  • Is this an opportunity to share a win? Don’t be afraid to share and celebrate your wins. Help your manager see your progress and acknowledge your good work. This also helps your manager share your work with leadership who you might not interact with you on a regular basis.

Ask questions that get to the heart of your concerns. For instance, if you’re stuck on a potential strategy, you can ask your manager: “How would you approach X? My proposed solution is Y, any feedback on this?”

Articulate and agree on these commitments in the last part of your one-on-one so you’re crystal clear on what’s expected between now and your next check-in. This could be as simple as your manager agreeing to send over a report that might be helpful for you, or as complex as you agreeing to have a difficult conversation with a client.

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One on one meetings

...are held between a team leader and team member

They are conversations that usually last no longer than 10 to 30 minutes where they discuss what is going well and what needs to change. 

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Change the setting sometimes

Occasionally, go for a walk and have your 1:1. Occasionally, go get coffee. Go sit in the courtyard. Get lunch or breakfast or dinner. Most often, it’s probably easiest and most efficient to grab or schedule a room and get right into it. Every once in awhile, though, offer to change the setting, as a chance to interact with your team member more as a human being than as just the boss.

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Panic induced by a surprise meeting

The first thought that goes through almost any professional when they hear the phrase, "Can we talk?", is that they did something wrong. An unexpected meeting can take the most self-assured person aback, especially if it comes from your boss.

This is a normal response that is naturally wired into the brain. It is a protective mechanism designed to keep you safe.

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