A One-on-One Worksheet That Gives Power to Employees
To empower people, you must give them some control.
One-on-ones where employees control most or all of the agenda transfer power to employees. But it’s intimidating if employees haven’t done it before.
Create transitions that facilitate paradigm shifts.
If you want employees to have ownership of their one-on-ones with you, send out a one-on-one worksheet with potential agenda items that employees might choose from.
Prepare people to take power.
What follows are potential questions and topics that an employee could use to prepare for a one-on-one where they control the agenda.
- Goal updates:
- Project goals.
- Career goals.
- Setting new goals:
- Ask me anything.
- I wonder about ….
- What would you like me (leader) to ask you?
- Needs, wants, wishes:
- How am I doing with _____ ? (fill in the blank with something specific.
- Where might I be better?
- Feedback for leadership:
- Tell everyone about some leadership behavior/quality you are working on and invite them to discuss it with you.
- Ask for one or two suggestions on how to make meetings more effective, for example.
- What’s working in your area? What’s making it work?
- What could be better in your area? How might we make progress in that area?
- When I see you at your best, I see you…. (This could go from you to them and/or from them to you.)
- What strengths do you see in me?
- Problem solving/Opportunity seizing
- What problem might we work on?
- What opportunities could we develop?
Begin the first one-on-one that employee’s control with one of these questions.
- What three things might make our one-on-ones more useful?
- What’s true of the best one-on-ones we’ve had?
- If we had a perfect one-on-one what would happen? What would be the result?
What would you include on a one-on-one worksheet that helps employees take control of their one-on-ones with their leaders/managers?
**This post comes from a reply I just sent to a reader on this mornings post. I thought you might benefit.
When I saw this in the comments from yesterdays blog, I thought “Dan should just copy and paste that for tomorrow.” Great minds think alike 🙂
I have found that asking employees to share roadblocks or frustrations is helpful – gives me insights into organizational barriers as well as areas for personal development (both mine and theirs!). Then we brainstorm ways through those barriers, and identify what they can control/influence and where I as the supervisor/leader/project sponsor might need to step in.
Thanks Lisa. I respect how you share responsibility. Some leaders find it difficult to ask about roadblocks and frustrations because they feel responsible for fixing things FOR people, rather than with them.
Okay, this is great stuff. I am going to put this into practice right away. We have lots of great 1:1s here but there are questions in here that take this to another level (what would you want me to ask you …)
The 1:1s I have with our leaders always focus on three things; them and their development, their team and their development and then their business plans. Our coaching model also starts with what went well and then moves to what could be different; with self discovery a key component. It’s a good rhythm but I’m always looking for questions to create even more interest and engagement in these and to amp up the self discovery process. These accomplish that.
Great stuff as ever – how about this question Dan ‘if I could I would……….’ it might be a softer way into Lisa’s point about roadblocks as then the conversation naturally turns to ‘well what’s in the way and how shall we do something about that’
Thanks Dan. A very useful post (As usual)
One of my mentors once said: don’t be afraid of silence, leverage it. I think this is good advice in helping others in one on ones
This is a great post. One of the ways I developed good self-reflection and critical thinking skills was due to a mentor who used similar tactics in our 1:1’s.
I’ve found that using a tool like this encourages both parties to be engaged. I’ve also used it as a way to fire a mentor who thought tools like this were silly.
Everything you write is so pertinent to me. I’m SO GLAD I found your blog! This is another great tool for me to use with my group. Thank you!
Wonder if you could post this as a PDF to download? I know this is not a one size fits all every time but its a good place to start planning a sit down with an employee.
You got it. The link is after the question at the bottom of the post.
Oh the spot that says PDF version… thank you missed that.