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Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization

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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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