We’ve all been there: We just wasted the last hour in a 1–1 sharing and receiving feedback that gets us absolutely nowhere. Instead of viewing 1–1s as a necessity that you’re just obligated to cross off your list as a manager, you need to see the bigger picture: 1–1s are the single greatest way for you to improve the quality of collaboration with the people you work with. However, we need a framework that drives meaningful feedback that gets us somewhere. Sahil Lavingia shared a simple, yet powerful framework for running effective 1–1s. In this article, we share with you how you can use it.
“Average players want to be left alone. Good players want to be coached. Great players want to be told the truth.” — Doc Rivers
In essence, the framework consists of three areas you are sharing with your employees.
That’s it. These three areas are all you need to cover when running effective 1–1s. Applying this, you firstly tell your employee which things they should start, stop and continue doing. Next, you ask them to share the same aspects with you. Always remember, feedback is a two-way street.
Let’s go a little deeper into the respective areas and what exactly is entailed by them.
As the name suggests, in this section you will be sharing things one should start doing. In other words, what behaviour or actions are you currently missing? Some example questions that get the ball rolling are:
This area is crucial as it clearly points out which qualities or behaviours are currently missing. Most often, here is the most potential for tangible improvements that directly impact the quality of your work.
Next up, it’s important to share aspects that should be halted immediately. These can be annoying traits that developed over time or even counterproductive habits that are hard to self-observe. Some questions to consider are:
Being brutally honest in this aspect is super important. Often there are small habits and practices that hurt the overall performance without the person noticing.
Lastly, it’s crucial to reinforce the things that already go well. This area is important for sharing the qualities you already appreciate and that is adding to your overall success. Compliments go here, and this shouldn’t be neglected. Some ideas to get you started are:
It’s important to always pair constructive criticism with praise and acknowledgement of the things that go well. That way, people feel valued and committed to making changes that benefit you and your employee.
After telling your employee aspects in the respective areas, they should have a good and constructive understanding of what they should do to improve in their role. But that’s not all.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” — Ken Blanchard
Feedback is a two-way street. Only providing feedback but never opening up the space to hear what your employees think about your work as a leader is dangerous. Make the space for constructive feedback as there are most likely precise points that you are unaware of. Ask your employee about aspects of the three areas to constructively improve in your function as a leader.
Running effective 1–1s is paramount to a well functioning work relationship with your employees. To get the most out of these 1–1s it’s crucial to follow a simple, yet powerful structure like Sahil Lavingia’s framework for 1–1s. Further, it might be a wise choice to share this structure with your employees before running 1–1s so they can productively think about constructive aspects in the respective areas.