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Having better 1 on 1 changed my business

Jason Wong
Jason Wong
This is a memo that I wish I had gotten myself early on in my business, hopefully it’ll be helpful to you.

doe team
doe team
For years, my biggest struggle as a leader in my company was feeling a constant disconnection with my team. I didn’t know what else I could be doing. I mean, we all had recurring meetings and I meet with employees individually over specific topics, I thought I did what I could.
It’s silly to look back now, but just making my 1 on 1 meetings with my team members could have solved so many of these challenges, and possibly could have grown my business faster.
Since implementing this new 1 on 1 framework, I’ve been seeing better productivity across the board, and feel like we’re actually running together in the business rather than the disorientation we had before.
Today’s note is going to be a short one, it’s my framework for 1 on 1 meeting and questions to ask.
1 on 1 Framework
What’s happening personally this past week/month?
  • This gives you an opportunity to have a better understanding of things outside of work that may impact your team member’s presence within the team. Positive or negative, it’s important to know this. Empathy is important, and when you know that a team member is going through something from your 1 on 1, I recommend adjusting your expectations to give them the space they need.
Team activity update
  • This is where I get to learn about the activities that the team member is involved in and listen to the progress that they’ve made. It always brings me joy to hear them be proud of an accomplishment (launching a campaign) or being to help them out when they tell me there’s a roadblock.
Bi-directional feedback
  • 1 on 1 meetings shouldn’t just be a one way street. This is your chance to talk to your team member to discover how you can be a better leader. We’re not perfect and there’s always more room to grow. You might even find the little things that cause friction in the organization that you’re responsible for but wasn’t aware of.
Idea dump
  • I love to do this at the end of the meeting to bring up new ideas that the team member have. We won’t get too much time to dive into it, so I like to collect them to go over them with the rest of the team. This is a great chance to get unique and exciting ideas for your business.
1 on 1 Tips
  • Set recurring meetings, monthly at a minimum but also encourage team members to schedule them with you as they need it.
  • Listen actively and ask them questions to elaborate
  • Show don’t tell – follow up with action to show that you’re supporting them, not just telling them that you heard them
  • Encourage them to write out their thoughts and send them to you prior to the 1:1
Questions I love to ask
  • What roadblocks are you encountering and what do you think it takes to solve them? (gives you an opportunity to understand their thought process and give advice to refine them)
  • How do you feel about the way we’re working together and are there ways to improve it?
  • How can I support you better with your work?
  • Are there anything that you feel like is a time drain in your day? (gives me an opportunity to identify ways to improve efficiency, ie. automation)
  • What are some skills you wish to develop in this role?
  • Does our goals and vision seem clear or should I elaborate more? (sometimes, as leaders, we think people get the vision we establish, but we may have poorly communicated it)
That’s it for this week! I’ll be traveling to San Diego for GeekOut next week and immediately fly to Vegas for ShopTalk after. If you’re at any of these events, hit me up, would love to meet you!
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Jason Wong
Jason Wong @eggroli

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