1:1 meetings are mandatory

Published 03/15/2020
Author: David Crandall


I've been managing people over 5 years now. I got lucky having had a great manager myself when I got started, who I really learned a lot from.

Surprisingly, I find not a lot of people really understand the weight of responsibility that comes with managing people -- specifically in tech. There are a lot of things you have to do to make sure you're team is working effectively and efficiently. Things you might not be thinking of in your pursuit of a management role.

How do you keep your team motivated to work everyday -- money, or the job? Do you know their career goals? If so, what are you doing about them? Are they working efficiently? If not, how do you identify the problem, and what do you do to fix it?

These are just a small sample of tough questions that, quite frankly, are your job to answer as a manger. And, while I may not have all the answers to all the questions, there are some things I've learned along my career in tech that have helped me build strong, well running teams.

1:1's are mandatory

I am always surprised to hear other managers who don't have one-on-one meetings with each memeber of their team at least once a month. Yeah, I get it, we're all busy, but I've learned the best way to motivate your team, and make them feel valued, is to set aside time just for them. 30 minutes ain't a lot of time to dedicate to a person. So you might as well just do it, and show you give shit :)

Get on your team's level

When you have your 1 on 1 meetings with your team, hear out their problems, find out their career goals, get to know their favorite movies, find out what keeps them interested in their job. In a 30 minute conversation, you can learn a lot about them, and -- if you're open to their feedback -- about yourself as a manager.

Show them their value

1-on-1 meetings are the perfect opportunity to let your team know how important they are. Each person on a team has a role, and that role covers a set of responsibilities critical to accomplishing tasks that affect business goals.

Let your team know how the work they've been doing has been helping the business, and show them how the work they're going to be doing will be affecting business goals. Show them the value of their work.

Be transparent

It's not an easy conversation to let someone know they're slacking. It's hard to tell someone the quality of their work is not up to par with the demand of the job. But it's important to be transparent with your team.

Tell them how well they're doing and highlight their successes. But also let them know where they may be struggling with a listening ear. Hear out their reasons, and guide them to improvement. And don't be a finger pointer. Nobody likes that, and it doesn't earn respect.

Instead be willing to listen. Sometimes, you may be met with excuses, which you can acknowledge and should consider as you help them improve. It's your job to guide them to success, afterall. If they aren't successful, neither are you.

Leave a comment