As long as I've been a manager, I've always built into the team culture a weekly project status meeting. It's not nearly as detailed as the outlined Staff Meeting that MT suggests, but it's one thing that I've recevied feedback from my team about that they hope we keep doing. Since I haven't done 1 on 1s, I think part of the desire to keep those meetings going is that it does provide consistency and it's a great check-in for all of us.

I have a small team of 3 (4 counting me). 2 have the same role (illustrator/animators), and the other is tangentally related (visual designer). So all week, they are interacting with each other, learning from each other, and passing projects around to each other as needed.

I'm nervous that by adding 1 on 1s (which I've bought into and am so excited about), that it's going to change the dynamic of our team meetings. Or, should I keep project status updates out of the 1 on 1s, and just work on relationship building? or, if project status is a part of the 1 on 1, is it not redundant then to also go over project status in the staff meeting? 

I haven't started rolling out 1 on 1s just yet (I haven't given the 3-week notice), as I want to have a bit more clarity on how it will impact our already standing team meeting. I've listened to most of the 1 on 1 podcasts, and jumped over and found how to run an effective staff meeting, but I'm still missing the impact these two things can have on one another... 

Thanks for any insight, or experience stories you can share!

pucciot's picture
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This happens to me all the time.

Staff reports much the same thing at the Weekly Staff Update Meeting that they tell me in our One-On-One (O3).

First they report what they plan to do this week - and Then they report what they did last week.


Yes, I would suggest that some things could be left out of one meeting and left into the other.

This will make both meetings more efficient.  

Everybody likes quicker and more targeted meetings.


* Don’t be too strict about that.

Yes, there will be redundancy.

I often hear the same things at the Staff Update meeting and the O3's.


Those are the things the staff is working on and what is on their mind.

It is good for them to report more about their work.

It is good for me to hear it again, so I don't forget.  It is good for the colleagues to hear about it again. 

So what - ?  More communication is better.

If folks, and ME, get distracted in one meeting then I get to be reminded about something in the other meeting.

Who doesn't need a little reminding sometimes ?

I hear that they are planning to do it next week. - Sometimes twice.

I hear that they did it the next week. - Sometimes twice.

It is really _not_ a problem.

Eventually, the topics move on in about a month. That's not so bad.


The Point is --- "Talk about performance" -- is one of the best Management behaviors.

We don't do it enough.

Good Luck.


jeana's picture

Thank you for this. It confirms some of what I suspected, but it's always good to hear it.  I have my first O3s scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday. I'm still listening to the podcasts about the rest of the trinity rollout, and am excited to roll out feedback, delegation and coaching too in future months. 

I'm also excited about how our actual team meetings will change a little. I work with artists/creative folks, and I think our team meetings will also be a great time for knowledge sharing, and reviewing our work as a team to make sure we're staying on brand (like a group critique).

mrreliable's picture

I guess I don't understand why your directs are talking about project status. An O3 is supposed to be 10 minutes for them, 10 minutes for you, and 10 minutes discussing future plans in the business.

You're probably not asking enough open-ended questions to start their 10 minutes. If you ask "How's the project going?," that's a mistake. That's for the project meeting, not for an O3. More appropriate for this situation is "How's it going?" "So, how are things going in Bob's world?" "Did you buy that car you were looking at?"

If you've discussed O3's before implementing them, they should know what to expect. Yes, it is a bit awkward when you ask them to talk with you about whatever they want, but soon the awkwardness will disappear. Anything new that's worthwhile will be awkward or painful at first. That's how people grow. You'll develop saleman skills to get the person to talk about themselves. (Ever notice with the best salespeople you like the most the conversation always is about you, your life, your kids, your job, etc?")

Everybody loves to talk about themselves. Look for any hook where you can respond with a question. They'll soon realize it's nothing more than a friendly conversation. Then when it's time for your 10 minutes, talk about yourself a little bit. It will work, honest. Then the last 10 minutes, you can talk about project staus if you want, but preferably you would talk about something more focused on the individual, such as what their goals are and how you can help them. Find out what you can do to make them happier and more productive.

It's all about leading the discussion. The awkwardness will quickly disappear. Both my directs and I look forward to O3's. It's quite enjoyable, actually, an the work-related discussion is minimal. My biggest problem with O3's is limiting them to half an hour. But the information I gain from them, and they gain from me, is invaluable.

Screenack's picture

As I manage a mix of visually creative designers and software developers on my team, your question caught my eye.

I found that reading Mark Horstman's "The Effective Manager" gave me all the information I needed to roll out O3's.

This book is a quick read, and I highly recommend it. Even though I was familiar with the concepts I learned through the podcast, Mark puts the information together in the book format that helped me through design and implementation.

We are now a year and a half into the roll-out. I find some redundancy, though it is usually warranted. Recall that you may have a discussion in an O3 that you can't with your group, even a small group. The development of trust with your reports is invaluable and provides you with more considerable latitude as a manager.

PS: I've been an MT listener since 2008, but a member only starting this year. This post is my first on this forum.

pucciot's picture
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mrreliable - 


I'm not sure what you mean in that post 

"I don’t understand "

The first 10 min are for the Direct to talk about whatever they want to talk about.

The Manager does not set the agenda.

If the Direct wants to talk about work - then that is what they talk about.

The manager is only supposed to ask 1 general open ended question to start ...  

Like the two you mentioned --  "How's it going?" "So, how are things going in Bob's world?"

After that -- you have to accept any answer they give.   
Most of my folks jump right into work related stuff.

After that - the 2nd 10 min is for the manager to talk about what the manager wants to talk about.

I think trying to pry out personal stuff is not recommended.

"Did you buy that car you were looking at?"  might be OK --- but a manager shouldn't push it.


If you Direct does not want to discuss personal things, then we should respect that.





jeana's picture

Hi all - I just wanted to give an update on how my O3s are going.  And they're going great. At first directs were a bit shy, and not sure how these would really go (just like the podcasts predicted). I did the roll out as perscribed, talked about it in our team meetings, sent the email, scheduled the times, and, a month later, I can't believe I haven't done these from the start. I feel like we're already moving faster as a team--in a good way.

Directs are talking more about personal stuff, but I never pry. I'll ask about stuff they share about, but I don't go farther than that. I know one of my directs is currently dealing with a mom with cancer, an upcoming wedding and a move. That's a lot. And I've been able to work with her on some time she needs, because I know what's going on and she's getting her work done. 

I do lead with the question of, "How's it going?" and where they take the conversation is up to them. Sometimes, if I know they do have personal stuff going on, and they do just talk about work stuff, when I get to my time, I will ask them how x situation is going... and if they don't engage with the question and just respond with it's 'ok', 'fine', etc, I just let it go. This is not a personal inquisition.

In addition to personal updates, we do talk about projects in the O3s and I do get status reports and find out new information as we have time.

We've actually been able to be way more collaborative in our team meetings too. I have a team with diverse projects and roles, but we have a common thread—creating visual assets. So we've spent most of our team meetings talking about how to continue to streamline and support the company brand, and how our individual projects feed into that—instead of going over individual project updates. 

Implementing feedback is next!