Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization

If you’re managing other managers, encourage them to hold their own 1:1s. At a minimum, doing them with their direct reports is non-negotiable. It’s such an important tool for managing and leading that everyone needs to be holding them.

I encourage, but don’t require, them to do skip levels and peer 1:1s, too. They’ll get huge benefits from seeing the bigger picture of the company, and you’ll find that managers are less threatened by you doing skip-levels with their reports if they’re doing skip levels of their own.

Most managers don’t do 1:1s well, and like everything else, it’s a learned skill. Teach them this skill.

Use your 1:1s with them to teach by example, and periodically ask them how their 1:1s are going. Dive deep into the problems they struggle with holding a 1:1.

Create templates for agendas, distribute ideas for how to get feedback, point them at blog posts like mine, and otherwise give them a starting point for learning their own effective 1:1 style.

If you have enough managers, invest in some training time with them. Teach them how to avoid falling into talking about the tactical day to day. Walk through what a 1:1 should look like. Have them practice on each other.

This is one of a series of posts about holding 1:1s. View the rest of the series.


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Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization (Jan 4)
If you’re managing other managers, encourage them to hold their own 1:1s. It’s such an important tool for managing and leading that everyone needs to be holding them.
One on One Meetings - a collection of posts about 1:1s (Jan 2)
A collection of all my writing on 1:1s
Are 1:1s confidential? (Jan 2)
Is the discussion that occurs in a 1:1 confidential, even if no agreed in the meeting to keep it so?
Skip-level 1:1s are your hidden superpower (Jan 1)
Holding 1:1s with peers and with people far below you on the reporting chain will open your eyes up to what’s really going on in your business.
Do you need a 1:1 if you’re regularly communicating with your team? (Dec 28)
You’re simply not having deep meaningful conversation about the process of work in hallway conversations or in your chat apps.
What agenda items should a manager bring to a 1:1? (Dec 23)
At least 80% of a 1:1 agenda should be driven by your report, but if you also to use this time to work on things with them, then you’ll have better meetings.
Handling “I don’t have anything to talk about” in your 1:1s (Dec 21)
When someone says they have nothing to discuss, they’re almost always thinking too narrowly.
What should you talk about in a 1:1? (Dec 19)
Who sets the agenda? What should you discuss, and what should you avoid discussing?

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