Friday, July 3, 2015

Experimenting with 1:1’s

Creating a Healthy Work Environment

I've had inspiring managers and horrible managers. They have all dramatically influenced my health and well-being.  These experiences have taught me that a healthy work environment is a result of hard work. And a crucial element of this hard work is experimentation.

I want to create a work environment where people are surprised by their own potential.  An environment where we respectfully challenge each other to play at the top of our game. Since change is inevitable - continuously learning through experimentation is vital.

Here are a couple of simple experiments that we've been running with my team during our 1:1's.

Moving Motivators

"Management 3.0 #Workout" is fast-becoming my favourite management book and resource toolkit.  Moving Motivators is a really simple exercise that I've done in my 1:1's with my team, but you can use it with your colleagues or even in retrospectives.

It's a simple way to prioritize from a set of 10 "motivators".

...and then have a dialogue about how change impacts your motivations.

Here are a couple of references to the game that should help get you started:

Click Down

In the "21-day Tribal Leadership Challenge" David Logan introduced the "click-down" tool with 2 simple steps.

1. In a conversation with a co-worker, listen for a word that would be "blue and underlined".  That is, if you were to "click on it" it would take you to additional content.  For example your co-worker may say "I am really frustrated with how this sprint is going."

2. Ask an open-ended question about that word to elict a deeper conversation.  For example, you may ask "Why are you so frustrated with how this sprint is going?"

You would repeat steps 1 and 2 until it becomes "uncomfortable" or difficult for the other person to answer.  When you get to that place, you've usually stumbled onto their core-values.  It takes a bit of practice to make sure you make it part of an organic part of your conversation.

Read more about this and listen to David Logan here:

Final Note - Bringing Devices into 1:1's

When I first started holding 1:1's with my team I'd bring my laptop into the room and take notes.  I found that screens would put up walls in our dialogue and broke up the natural flow of the dialogue.  I've still bring my laptop occasionally to 1:1's, but use a pen and index cards to capture notes.

This also allows me to pay closer attention to others, by jotting down notes as they speak. Instead of being burdened by follow-up questions or "click-down" words... I'm able to more closely focus and listen to what they have to say.

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