I’ve seen loads of great ideas for managing effective 1-1’s with direct reports. Here’s one that I used many years ago, then drifted away from, and recently reinstated with excellent reviews from my staff.
It’s a 25-minute check-in with a “5×5” approach. It’s predicated on a quarterly establishing of goals for each team member. The format feels similar to that of a daily scrum.
5-10 min: What are 1-2 accomplishments since our last meeting that moved you toward your goals.
5-10 min: What 1-2 accomplishments are you aiming for before our next meeting.
5 min: Is there anything you need from me to get this done?
Twice a quarter (every 4-6 weeks) is a good cadence to ask, “What else is going on with you, where you do feel stagnant, in what areas would you like to keep growing, and what do you need from me to do so?”
I find that sticking to a playbook for 1-1 meetings accomplishes three things:
- Maintain focus on quarterly goals;
- Setting an expectation with reports about the purpose of this meeting;
- Creating space for ongoing professional development conversations.