As a Founder, Tech Lead, Team Lead, or Engineering Manager, you play a vital role in the success of your organization. One of the keys to success in these roles is having effective communication with your team members. One of the best ways to achieve this is through regular 1:1 meetings.
1:1 meetings provide an opportunity for you to have a private and direct conversation with each team member, allowing you to discuss work-related issues, share feedback, and set goals. By having regular 1:1's, you can improve communication, build trust, and foster a stronger working relationship with your team.
But, simply having 1:1's is not enough. It's important to run them in a way that is effective and beneficial for both you and your team members. Here is how to run successful and effective 1:1's.
Make it regular
Schedule 1:1's on a regular basis, whether it be weekly or bi-weekly. This will ensure that you and your team member have a consistent time to check in and discuss any issues or concerns.
Avoid canceling or rescheduling 1:1's, as this sends a message that the meeting is not important. Show your team members that you value their time and input by being consistent with the 1:1 schedule.
It's not a status update
1:1's are not just a time for your team member to give you a status update on their work. Use this time to discuss any issues or concerns they may have, provide guidance and support, and set goals for their personal and professional development.
Listen, listen, listen
During the 1:1, make sure to actively listen to your team member. This means paying attention to what they are saying, asking follow-up questions, and providing feedback. By actively listening, you show that you value their input and are invested in their success.
Before the 1:1, take some time to review any notes or information related to your team member's work. This will ensure that you are fully engaged in the conversation and can provide valuable feedback and guidance.
Engage with good questions
During the 1:1, use open-ended questions to encourage your team member to share their thoughts and ideas. This will foster an open and honest conversation, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of their work and any challenges they may be facing.
Connect the dots
When listening to your different team members you may see patterns emerge. Some indicators to look for across your team members: stress level, work/life balance, engagement and motivation. Connect the dots and see if there are any common themes that you can address.
In conclusion, 1:1's are an essential tool for leaders. By making them regular, not skipping, not using them as a status update, active listening, coming prepared, and engaging with good questions, you can build strong relationships with your team members, improve communication, and drive success for your organization.