I'm finding that team meetings and one on ones overlap in content quite a lot. 

In O3s, we end up repeating the same points as the team meeting from the day before. 

From my perspective, team meetings are for me to say what I need and pass down any information. We also go around the table for status updates from everyone.

In the O3, they cover what they want but typically it's just a rehash of the team meeting. 

Do you have suggestions on how to prove the quality of both?



delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge

Hi Tim,

I sometimes use my time in the O3 to cover specific topics more in depth with the employee and also to ask if they have any questions or need any assistance that perhaps they didn't discuss during the staff meeting.

For their time in the O3 are you opening it up wide to them.  When the employee is stalled I follow up with "so what is is happening in your world?".  This gives them an opportunity to add more.  I also try and remember interests or hobbies of theirs or ask about vacation planning or an upcoming long weekend.  Have a list of topics you can draw from to keep the conversation moving in a more relationship fashion. 

There is also a podcast on O3 refresh, maybe check that out.

Carry on!


Solitaire's picture

I do my O3's the day before the team meeting, so I use my time in the O3 to talk in depth about new things (especially process changes) that I also want to talk about at the team meeting the next day. It gives me a chance to pretty much have a pre-wire discussion with each of them, before discussing as a group the next day. It gives the quieter members of my team a place to voice opinions and discuss concerns before the group discussion. It often means that by the time of the team meeting they are all 100% behind the new idea, or that I have a good idea of everyone's objections to re-think if needed.

Someone somewhere also said something similar to the fact that you need to repeat things several times so that they are definitely heard, so I find that talking about these things in multiple situations means that the message gets across better, and sticks too.

naraa's picture
Training Badge

I am pretty sure I have heard this, I can also hear Mark´s voice in my head, or at least this is what I grasp of it (somebody correct me if I am wrong), on one of MT´s podcasts:

"One-on-Ones are for you to establish a relationship with each one of your directs.  Team meetings are to promote the relationship among your directs."

Of course there is also the purpose of passing down and sharing information that is relevant to the whole group.  But the statement above was an eye-opener for me and my staff meetings really changed after that.  Staff meetings are still not about you. They are for and about your directs.  I realised I had overestimated the capacity of my team to coordinate issues among themselves.  So I learned to step out a bit from the staff meeting (I am high D, high I), observe more, and just accept that one of the purposes of the meeting was to be a space for more interaction among my directs, so they could know each other better (person and profession wise), and that knowing promoted them to interact better without me needing to be the bridge for that interaction.

Tim, I don´t have an actionable suggestion of how you improve the quality of your meetings.  For me, seeing the purpose of the meeting from a different perspective was enough to adjust it just a bit to better achieve that purpose.  It also gave me peace of mind I was not loosing my time or my team´s time.



rwwh's picture
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Your team meeting and O3's should not overlap too much.

For your team meeting: be careful with "status updates". In many team meetings I have seen, a status update from each of the people is a rant about the "effort" they have put into a project ("I worked on the Xbrass widget Monday through Wednesday", "I made 30 cold calls this week"). Such things are irrelevant. What the team meeting should focus on is how far everyone got, a good analysis of the reasons for a delay (and an explicit solution!), what they will finish next, and who's help they need for that ("The Xbrass widget code is checked in, I still need to add a unit test and deploy the test server. It would be great help if Bart could explain the ButtonTester to me tomorrow."). 

O3's should not be incomplete team meetings. Your 10 minutes in the O3's are used to discuss individual performance. Feedback. Coaching.


Kilolo's picture

I use my team meetings and one-on-ones very differently.  I strongly believe that as a manager, it is my responsibility to help others get to where they want to go.  If they have no real career aspirations, I try to encourage them to consider where they want to be and what they want to do in 5 years.  I have found that most people have some plans for their future but just are not sure how to get there.

My team meetings are to provide status updates to those who report to me.  At this point, I only do team meetings every 2 weeks to save on time.  The meetings include things going on in the company along with my group.  I try to keep my updates to just 30 minutes and then allow for a round table where my team is able to ask questions or ask advice to other team members.  It is not to be used as a time to complain but more as a good brainstorming session.  So far, I have had no issues with the time being used inappropriately but I do feel it is my responsibility to make sure the meeting stays on track.

My one-on-ones are to help me get to better know my individual direct reports by assisting them in career planning and growth.  These meetings occur no more than once a month.  Although we may occasionally get off track, for the most part discussions include what they want to do, training opportunities, and how they can reach their career goals.   It also allows me to provide feedback on how things are going so that when review time comes around, they are not surprised.  After the first few meetings, I have found that the majority come prepared with an agenda of what they want to discuss.  I understand that some may be at a place where they are not interested in moving up, so I just make sure that I help them work on their present position and skill set.

I hope this helps.