Getting to Know You

Using one on one’s to improve your team’s performance.

George Stark
Nov 27, 2020 · 6 min read
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How do you get the best of our your team?

Why getting to know your team is important

Motivations and needs

Health and Wellbeing

Communication styles

Developmental needs

A two-way street

There are several methods that we can use to get to know each other. There are tried and true methods of breaking bread together over lunch or dinner. Many people like going out and having a chat over a drink or two. These are all great techniques, but there is a better way to get to know your team that trumps all others. The One on One.

One on one’s

Format

  • All one on ones are 30 mins long. Sometimes they may take more or less time, which isn’t a problem as long as you have time to spare. I found when starting to roll out one on one’s the first few could run over very easily, while later on, they could be much shorter. Either is ok.
  • I start by asking how they are. — This is a good time to talk about anything that is on their mind.
  • I ask them what they would like to discuss. — Sometimes they will jump in and start talking. Sometimes it is more difficult to get them to open up.
  • I then bring up any topics I would like to discuss. — But not before I have made sure they are finished talking. This is a good forum to bring up any feedback, good or bad in addition to any work-related tasks. The weekly cycle I prefer means that any feedback we need to discuss is still fresh in their mind.
  • That’s it!

Schedule

Benefits of one on one’s

How to get there

  • Let them know: Announce that you will be starting one on one’s with your direct reports. This can be in a team meeting or via email. Explain how it will work.
  • Get them booked in: Work with each person around a good time for the meeting and lock it in. I feel it could be rude to book a slot with making sure it works for everyone.
  • Get started: Have the first meeting and get stuck in. The first meeting may be awkward but keep going, the investment of your time into a one on one’s will pay dividends.

Conclusion

Originally published at https://www.herdingcoders.com.

The Startup

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George Stark

Written by

I am passionate about building great software and great software teams. I publish my thoughts on engineering leadership at herdingcoders.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +756K people. Follow to join our community.

George Stark

Written by

I am passionate about building great software and great software teams. I publish my thoughts on engineering leadership at herdingcoders.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +756K people. Follow to join our community.

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