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Submitted by timbarcz on


I've listened to the casts on O3's again and again and continually find the opening with some directs awkward.

"What've you got?" I try to say casually to initiate the conversation as well as set the expectation that I'm open to the things they've got.

This doesn't feel like a good opening...thoughts on getting rolling?

ilkhan's picture

 Hi Femantim, 

I start every O3 by asking, "how are things going?"  I usually ask ask we are sitting down and try to make the conversation sound breezy (at least the beginning).  This seems to give my directs enough latitude to say things are great or they're having a crappy day.  Either response allows me to follow up.  If they say, "fine" or "busy" it also gives me an insight as to their frame of mind.  

dennis_sherman's picture
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I always start O3s with "How's things with you today?" or "How are things with you today?".  Most of my directs give me the same answer most of the time, which I make note of.  When they answer with something else, there's something to probe. (One of the O3 casts talks about that.)

Much of the time, working with introverted software developers, I then follow up with "Tell me more" to get them started.

Dennis Sherman

mattpalmer's picture

You said you've listened to the one-on-one podcasts over and over, but have you listened to all the O3-related casts, or just the basic trinity ones?  There's a separate cast, entitled "The First Question in your One on One" ( which covers this topic precisely.  It certainly helped my O3 opening technique (for the record, my opening question is "So what's been rustling your jimmies this week?", which is a partial in-joke/meme that we enjoy around the office... search for "Rustle my jimmies meme" if you're curious).