Mary-Lou asks: I was just promoted to a senior director position. In order to get to know my direct reports better, I want to schedule 1-1 meetings with each of them. Can you offer some suggestions of questions I should ask them?
Anne Loehr, Executive Leadership Coach responds:
Congrats on your promotion Mary-Lou!
Since your job is to empower and develop the individuals on your team, scheduling 1-1 meetings is a perfect start. During this time, you want to get to know each other personally and professionally so you can establish a great working foundation and understand what motivates them to do their best. Here are some example questions that will achieve both. Stay truly curious and open, and as you ask questions and listen you want to be picking up on what’s important to them in the way they describe themselves and their team. Some sample questions, in no particular order:
- Tell me about yourself – your strengths, your learning edge, how you like to work.
- How do you get to leverage your strengths in your role today? What do you like most about it?
- What is your definition of success in this job?
- What’s life like outside of work? Activities? Interests?
- Tell me about your team – what’s going well and any current challenges.
- How can I support you to be working at your best?
Of course, you can share similar information about yourself as well – you don’t want the conversation to feel like an interview, and they are probably quite curious about you. Depending on how this meeting flows and how much time you have, you may be able to dive in to talk about specific business items, or set that up for a following conversation.
Let us know how it goes!