How to know what questions to ask in a one to one with your team
This week I’m answering a question about one to one’s.
“I’m a big advocate of having 1-1’s with my team, but sometimes they can get really samey, and I find myself either asking the same questions, or just going through their to-do list with them for the week. I’d love them to be more meaningful, but struggling to know what to do, especially when I have a few people in my team. Any ideas?”
This is such a great question, as I’m a HUGE fan of managers having regular, consistent one to one’s with their team, and not just relying on an open door policy or a monthly team meeting.
So, if you’ve got this problem, here are my tips, and I’ve also got a freebie for you at the end…
1. Try and avoid closed questions
These are questions that are your yes or no answer questions like ‘did you’ ‘have you’ ‘is it’ etc. Instead, focus on open questions like ‘What’ ‘How’, When’ etc.
If you really struggle with these try and remember TED – Tell me, Explain to me, and Describe to me, as these will encourage a lot more discussion.
2. Don’t be afraid of asking the team member to lead the way
You don’t have to facilitate the meeting, and ask all the questions. Instead have a go at asking your Team Member to lead the way and come with everything they want to discuss once in a while and see where it takes you.
3. Mix your questions up a bit
Asking the same questions every time can feel really dull for you, so I’ve got something for you. I’ve put together a PDF of 20 questions to spice up a 1-1. The idea is that you can pick one question out and focus on that, ask your team member to pick a number between 1 and 20 to see what they come up with or use them to inspire you.
And…if you’ve got any tips of your own to share please let me know in the comments.