My two golden end-of-1-on-1 questions

I’ve started asking two questions at the end of every 1-1 that involved any kind of coaching:

  1. What about this conversation was the most helpful for you?
  2. 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.

And as a sneaky bonus, my people practice delivering feedback every week.

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