Need someone to lead product or development at your software company? I lead product and engineering teams and I'm looking for my next opportunity. Check out my resume and get in touch.

Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 1 year old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

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.

Recently Written

The Components of A Developer Experience (Sep 19)
Making your API a well-rounded product will help developers decide if your API is right for them and help grow their usage.
Principles of Developer Experience: An Introduction (Sep 15)
You can create a great developer experience for everything you build. Introducing the six principles of developer experience.
The KPI that measures Product-Market Fit (Sep 9)
If you ask this question to a different small group of your users every week, you can measure trends over time to determine if you're moving toward product-market fit.
Don't use NPS to measure user happiness for enterprise software (Sep 7)
Measuring the satisfaction and enjoyment of end users is a key to unlocking product-led growth. Net Promoter Score is the wrong tool for this.
Ask One Question To Help You Reach Product-Market Fit (Sep 3)
Learn what adjacent problems you need to solve to become twice as valuable to your customers.
How to scale your product team from one product manager to an entire organization (Aug 25)
As your product management team scales, you'll have issues around redundancy, communication, and consistency. Here's now you might solve those.
Software engineering manager interview questions (Aug 6)
Here are some questions I like to use to get a sense of who an engineering manager is and how they work.
A framework for onboarding new employees (May 15)
There’s no single good way to onboard an employee that works for every role. Here's a framework for creating a process that you can adapt to each situation.


What I'm Reading


Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497


Public Key

© 1999-2020 Adam Kalsey.