You'll likely get advice telling you, the startup CEO, that you should have 1:1 meetings with your direct reports. Well, that's good advice, but the question is what should you cover in these meetings?
In this short video, I'll walk you through the five questions you should ask in every 1:1 employee meeting you'll have. I hope you like it.
Read The Video Transcript Below:
When you first become a manager, and I've been a manager for a long time, you start doing meetings with your employees. But the question is, how do you know what to cover in those meetings? What should you cover? And what are the questions you should be asking of your team?
Well, I'm going to give you five questions in sequence that you should ask your team. And here's the key for you. Don't dive in. Wait, listen, and learn. You may have your own agenda and that's fine. But first ask these questions.
Here's the first one. What's on your mind? Ask that of your employee. Anybody that you're having your one on one with. Now, why is this important to do? Because number one, it gives your employee the ability to tell you what's going on, and what's on your mind is a brilliant question because now it opens everything up.
So now then should you start analyzing what's going on? No, you wait and you ask it again.
So you say this, this is question number two. And what else is on your mind? You may ask that two or three times. So you get everything on the plate, all the problems, all the issues your employee is facing.
Now what's the next question? What are the challenges you're facing? That's the next question. Then, why are you asking this question? Well, you're asking this question because you want to learn from their perspective, not yours, but theirs, what they think the challenges are.
Then again, should dive in. Nope.
And question number four is, and what do you really want to have happen here? And why are you asking this question? Because, rather than you saying, in thinking what you think you want to have happen from your perspective, and you're entitled to your perspective, you want to know from their perspective, what do they want?
So what do you want to have happen? Perfect question to ask.
Now, finally, should you jump in yet? Nope. Ask the fifth question. This is the permission question and it changes everything again.
This is really simple. What do you do? You ask this question? How can I help you? That's it. How can I help? And then they're going to say, here's how you can help now.
Should you help? Maybe, maybe not. You want to think about it and you'll decide whether you want to help or push it back on them. But by asking the questions in this sequence, you've given your employee, the feeling like they're in control yet, you're learning a ton.
You're learning how they need and want help. And you're asking for permission to help. Now, if that sounds backwards to you, it should. Because as a manager, yeah, we're supposed to be thinking to ourselves, well, you know, we should just tell them what to do or whatever. But as you gain more experience, you recognize this is a really powerful way to go in your one on ones with people. And it really helps because now suddenly it feels to the other side, like they're in control of the situation, yet you're in complete control. Try it. I'm firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great, great day.