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Neha Sharma
Neha Sharma

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What the heck is 1:1 ?

1:1 (One on one) is basically doing meetings with your immediate manager to discuss things beyond scrum and project status. It is focused on you - your concerns, expectations, yearly goals, concerns, motivation, etc. or just catching up with your manager.

In the big organization the structure of the team is very vast and it is impossible that managers know each and every team member.

It impacts the growth of the developers (or team members). They work year long but due to the no access to the manager at year-end folks end up getting the low hike and left frustrated. There are many things which happen with devs year-long which can be taken care of easily if we can keep talking to our manager. Such us - "Not getting the work-life balance, not happy with the current way of working, etc."

Hence, one-on-one is very important. This also helps in building trust and the relationship between the manager and you.

1 Who should schedule it?

A: Anyone, either manager or developer can schedule it. If your manager is not scheduling the 1:1 feel free to schedule it by yourself.

There are chances that your manager is not aware of what it is. After or before scheduling the 1:1 send a separate email to your manager explaining why you have scheduled the 1:1

2 What should be the agenda?

A: Generally, it depends upon you what you want to talk about. It should be open from project work to a professional.

From the project perspective only talk about what is not shared during scrum calls. Take 1:1 as your open playground to build a relationship with your manager, share about the challenges, work you have done, any concerns, any suggestions, etc.

3 What should be the frequency of the meeting?

A: The frequency could be from 15 to 30 minutes. If you are meeting weekly. Otherwise, 40 mins if meeting once in a month.

4 What if my manager declines the meetings?

A: Never ever decline a 1:1 meeting either as a manager or developer. Always provide the reason and reschedule it.

If the manager has declined altogether conducting 1:1 then do ask for the reason why they are not keen to do 1:1.

It is going to be a big concern, as your manager is not taking your career growth seriously. Feel free, to schedule with Sr manager and share why you are now setting up with him/her.

5 OMG!! I don't know what to talk about in 1:1

A: In the first-ever 1:1, just set the context that what this 1:1 is for - "These 1:1 are for us to meet weekly or monthly to share my updates and if there is any concerns or challenges I will share with you and it is a great way to know each other."

Few things to talk about:

1) Project Healthcheck: How the current module you are working is going on & overall project feedback

2) Moral: How you are feeling as a developer with the current work and tech stack

3) Goals: Are you are able to meet your yearly goal. If yes, which all? Keep your manager reminding that you are achieving your yearly-goal

4) Future Plans: Is anything new you want to do in your career a project or want to pick another story?

5) Concerns: Anyone giving you trouble at work?

6) Work-life balance: Are you getting enough work-life balance? If not, talk about it and set expectations that you cannot do it anymore.

7) Motivation: Are you feeling motivated or belonged to the company/team? If not, talk about what are the things making you feel like this, and if yes, again talk about this. Remember, 1:1 is not just about talking about issues but also about sharing what is going on great.

8) Hike / Promotion: Set financial expectations. Eg: you are expecting an X hike at the year-end or promotion. Talk about that ib your 1:1 from day one rather than waiting at year-end to discuss these things. Why? your manager now knows that you are expecting a promotion or X hike. Now, he/she will work with you year-round to help you achieve this.

9) Demotivation: What are your worries wrt to company, project, manager, or any employee that demotivates you or you see as not healthy for anyone?

10) Anything which you want to talk to your manager. You can look at this as your work-therapy session

Happy Learning!!

Top comments (3)

johndoesc profile image
Health Specialist • Edited

I am thinking this article is not relevant in today's reality. Here comes the story.

I have gone through mandatory 1 on 1 with my manager every month but the fact is just either a formality or job interview or a debate session, instead of real one on one session. Why? Every session he will try to find whatever fault I have ever done, and compare me with my colleagues and I have to defend myself with plan, plan and action and with whatever my achievement, then he laugh because he loses debate. I have no choice but to debate to be survive for another month. Even though I have no problem with all the tasks and projects on my plate, I would prefer to get rid of 1 on 1 session though I am not a manager.

In my opinion, in today's world where economy and labor market is very competitive and many people loses jobs that creating high supply of labor, if you still survive in your job and company, you should be grateful and no need to mention about work-life balance or happiness. Remember, if you are still own your job at a company, in whatever session meetings, be looked professional and avoid talking about work-life balance or happiness, keep your personal matter away from your profession, stop complaining whatever concerns, unless you are willing to get fired. My tips is to just follow the water flow and also keep a reasonable distance with all your colleagues.

Whatever feedback or engagement facility in every company is fake. In whatever situation, economy principle always play the most important role. Low demand and high supply, then market price is cheaper. High demand and low supply, then market price is expensive. That's all.

Anyone can reply my comment.

iamshadmirza profile image
Shad Mirza

Great read. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

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