One-on-Ones - Your Data Collection Pipeline With Your Team Members

One-on-one meetings are the foundational tool for managing individuals. And it couldn’t be simpler; they are:

  • Regular weekly meetings with you and each team member,

  • Which are basically never cancelled,

  • Where the team member’s questions, issues, and thoughts take priority, and come first in the agenda,

  • So that the team member knows they are important enough to have 30 minutes of your attention every week.

Everything else is implementation details.

Once you start the practice of regular one-on-ones, you’ll find yourself:

  • Better able to grow and retain each team member,

  • Getting real insight into potential issues before they arise,

  • Interrupted less, since people know they can just bring questions and issues,

  • Less stressed, since you have better visibility into what is actually happening, and

  • Better understanding what the job of being a manager is all about

There’s lots of good ways to get started - if you google “one-on-one meeting manager” you’ll find a billion or so hits!

I have a free four-week quickstart guide (PDF below) to getting starting with one-on-ones, specifically aimed for our kinds of teams. Every day at first, and then a couple of times a week, there are steps to take (with scripts for what to say), and some other resources if you want to find out more.

Manager, Ph.D. One-on-ones QuickStart guide
672KB ∙ PDF file
A 30 minute guide to the whys and hows of one-on-one meetings with your team members, with step-by-step instructions for getting them started.

I also have one-on-one meeting notes templates new managers often find helpful, as Google documents: Letter and A4.

Other Resources and next steps

Some other resources which might help you:

You can also watch my 10-minute talk, Help, I’m a (Research Software) Manager!, which talks about how one-on-ones are one of four things that help us in research become better managers (and connects with the Google new manager training above).

Finally, you can always email me or even arrange a quick free introductory call.