I’m going to try something new and see where it goes, a series of what I think are important pillars (blocks, stones?) of leading software teams. This is all geared towards the new Software Manager, Team Lead, or any other role that is undertaking leadership responsibilities in their day-to-day endeavours.
If you are not doing these with your team and they are not of the scheduled variety, go, send out the calendar invites now and then come back.
When we do “ad-hoc” One-On-Ones or “slide” them into other meetings here is the message we are sending as a leader;
- I don’t want to think about this.
- This doesn’t require its own meeting.
- Your growth is a priority when I have time.
These are probably not the messages you are looking to send, but they are the messages going out if you don’t do the simple act of scheduling them. Take fifteen minutes, schedule them as recurring and send them out.
I have written many times about One On Ones in a variety of places and as to what questions you need to ask (listed below);
The underlying theme of any One on One is to remember that it is not for you. You are not there to speak the most, they are, it is their meeting, you’re the facilitator, let them do the talking, you do the listening. The ratio of them speaking to you should be about 80/20, if you are going over, close your mouth, pull out your notebook and start writing down what they are saying.
Next Up: What To Do with what you’ve learned from One On Ones.