I’ve started asking two questions at the end of every 1-1 that involved any kind of coaching:
- What about this conversation was the most helpful for you?
- And what was the least helpful?
(I stole the first one from The Coaching Habit and the second one seemed like a nice symmetrical addition.)
Whoooo boy, what a humdinger of a way to end a 1-1. So far I’ve learned:
- I have a bad habit of rabbit-holing on some offhand comment of theirs with lots of questions and unwanted coaching, when they’d rather talk about other stuff.
- I’m not being helpful when I let people talk about their current work. I thought they brought it up because they needed to talk through it, but they were doing it for my benefit.
- I need to take people at their word. If they bring up something but say it isn’t a big deal, I should accept that instead of trying to prove them wrong.
- Most people appreciate being called out directly on their subconscious BS. I don’t need to shy away from that or tiptoe around it. Clear is kind.
I never would have gotten any of that without the two golden questions. They are helping me become a better manager.