The team at First Round did a great job compiling and sharing a list of questions for 1:1s that span five categories:
- 🤔 Self-reflection
- 🔍 Identify some topics
- 💡 Understand the issues
- 🎯 Develop long term goals
- 🙌 Deliver better support
Block off time before your 1:1 to work through questions like these on your own.
- What did my report do well this past week? What do they need to work on? (Keep a running list that will come in handy during performance review season).
- Do all of my 1:1s feel a little awkward?
- Do my reports regularly bring their biggest challenges to my attention?
- Am I giving feedback often enough?
- Does the person I'm managing feel invested in your company or team goals? Why should he/she be? Have I clearly explained the vision or goals, and his/her part in achieving them?
- Does he/she feel as if I've got his/her back?
- Do I know what motivates him/her?
- What am I offering vs. what am I expecting? Is what I'm offering good enough, or can my employee do better elsewhere?
- Does my direct report understand what he/she is supposed to do? How to do it?
- Does he/she have the right training, right scope, right authority, right resources and enough time to do as you need?
- Does he/she know how important my ask is?
- What does he/she need from me or other colleagues?
- How well do I understand what he/she is trying to learn and why?
- Is he/she encountering bottlenecks? Are those localized or systemic? If they’re systemic, do I need to address this bigger picture?
🔍 Identify some topics:
- Where's your head at?
- How are you feeling?
- What’s top of mind for you right now?
- What priorities are you thinking about this week?
- What’s the best use of our time today?
- Last time we spoke you said X was challenging for you, how’s that going?
- Complete the statements: The reason for this meeting is… or This meeting will be successful if…
💡 Understand the issues:
- What does your ideal outcome look like?
- What’s hard for you in getting to that outcome?
- What do you really care about?
- What do you think is the best course of action?
- What’s the worst-case scenario you’re worried about?
- What has energized/challenged you in your role/project?
- What are the things you’ve done since you joined you’re the most proud about?
- How happy were you this past week?
- Which part of your work is most fun? Least fun?
- What area are you most satisfied with? Least satisfied with?
- What’s the split of your time today between X/Y/Z? What would you like to spend more/less time on?
- How do you go about prioritizing your work?
- How productive were you this past week?
- What are the biggest time wasters/savers?
- What’s harder than it should be?
🎯 Develop long term goals:
- What are your long term goals?
- What skills do you want to improve?
- What is the area that, if you made an improvement, would give you the greatest return?
- Who in the company would you be excited to shadow/learn from?
- What parts of the business would like to be more involved in or learn about?
- What are your top 3 priorities this quarter/sprint? The team’s? The org’s?
- Are there any meetings you feel you should be a part of that you’re not?
🙌 Deliver better support:
- Is there anything you'd like to ask or highlight?
- What can I help with between now and the next time we meet?
- What can I do to make you more successful?
- What was the most useful part of our conversation today?
- Does this feedback resonate with you? Why or why not?
- What feedback do you have for me?
- If you were me, what would you do differently?
- What’s the next step? How should we track or capture this?
- How do you feel about the amount of feedback you’re getting?
- What are 2 things that I can do differently or improve? What could I start or stop doing?
- What questions do you wish I would ask?