This guidance addresses how personal One on Ones ought to be - should they be all about family and personal stuff, or just about work?

One of our regrets in producing casts over the years was an emphasis we made about getting to know your directs personally during One on Ones. We over-emphasized the importance of personal information, to the extent that some managers we've heard from feel that they are failing unless they know every detail about all of their directs. This guidance is designed to tighten our guidance about the balance between work and personal topics discussed during One on Ones.

What happened was that when we started our casts, in 2005, we were in the process of consulting to some very technical organizations. The managers at several clients knew literally nothing about their directs, and professed no interest in ever caring. So, we were pretty insistent with many of them that they had to get to know them in order to get the best from them. That led to our guidance being skewed based on the client world we were inhabiting at the time. We didn't even realize it until we heard horror stories of managers insisting directs share really personal stuff - and we'll leave it at that.

This guidance will help clear up how best to conduct your One on Ones around the work/family balance.

This Cast Answers These Questions

  • What should be the topic of One on Ones
  • Is it okay to talk about work?
  • Is it okay to talk about personal items?

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