1 on 1 Meetings
1-1's are a key way we look to stay connected while we're working remotely. Everyone has a weekly 1-1 with their manager, but we also look to have 1-1's with everyone else on the team periodically.
In general we try to follow this agenda structure for 1-1's. But not everything works the same for every set of people, so feel free to take this as a starting point and find the right structure that works in you 1-1's.
Setting up a new 1-1
- Create a new
PersonA & PersonBand use the template with the same name.
- Follow the TODO items within the template to set up the template and sync the Action Items.
We're basing our 1-1's on GitLab's 1-1 structure.
Our 1-1 agendas have 3 sections:
There is an empty template for 1-1's in Notion that you can use to set up a new 1-1 agenda.
Include a link to your 1-1 agenda table directly in your 1-1 calendar invite description. This makes it easy to find the latest agenda and all previous agendas so you know what you've previously discussed.
We want to regularly give each other feedback so we can be doing the best we can and growing as individuals and as a team. Giving regular feedback allows us to quickly adjust and address any potential issues immediately, instead of letting them build up over time.
Items in this section can be new items of feedback to discuss, can be related to followups around previous feedback points, or can be requests for feedback on certain things. When you are bringing in new feedback please preface the agenda item with DISCUSS. If it's an action item or a request please preface it with TODO.
A few tips on giving feedback:
- Have a positive intent. Harsh feedback isn't useful to help someone improve, but constructive feedback is critical to all of our success.
- Be transparent and candid.
- Make feedback a frequent and continuous process.
- Avoid using absolutes. Eg "You never do X" is almost never a true statement when giving feedback.
- Feedback should be both positive and constructive. Typically we want to aim for a 4:1 ratio of positive to constructive feedback.
- Give the receiver time to reflect on feedback
- Anchor your feedback with specific examples
A few tips on receiving feedback:
- Assume positive intent from the person giving the feedback. We all want each other to succeed and be happy. And giving feedback is also often an uncomfortable position to be in,
- Be an active listener. Sometimes its easy for walls to go up when we hear feedback, but it's helpful to slow down and reflect on what's being said.
- Ask questions.
- Show appreciation.
- Reflect on the feedback. Take time to understand what you've heard (but don't overthink it too much).
- Make a decision. Think through a plan on how to take action to address the feedback you've received. Work with the person you've received feedback from and others to understand what the best action is to take.
Feedback is alawys a bi-directional process - whether that's manager to direct report or 2 people on different teams. We can always help each other learn & grow
1-1's are a great space to chat about the future - whether that's for Sourcery as a company, a piece of the product, or your personal development. There are a two main types of topics to discuss in the Vision section:
- Paint a picture of how things could look in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc
- Share best practices
The hallway section is the main section of our 1-1 for discussing executional work and it's also a great place to chat about miscellaneous topics. The hallway should be a numbered list of discussion items, each with one of the following pre-fixes:
- DISCUSS: A topic to cover in the next 1-1
- REVIEW: A flag that there is a project or a PR that needs a review. Not to be actively reviewed during the 1-1
- HELP: Any items where you need help or support from the other person
- FYI: A flag for information. Doesn't need to be discussed directly in the meeting, instead we can use the agenda to flag the information
- HOLD: An item on the agenda that you want to table to a future discussion
- THANKS: Anything you want to thank the other person for
- SORRY: Anything you want to say sorry for
- MISC: Any other topics. Typically for non-work related items
- DONE: Previous items that have been finished. After a done item has been discussed it should be removed from future 1-1 agendas.
The hallway section is a living document that you should start updating immediately after the last 1-1.
1-1's should in general move from top to bottom of the agenda. But, as with all of this you should find the structure that works best for your 1-1.