Bill Campbell style 1:1s

Managers in companies all over the world conduct recurring 1:1 meetings with their direct reports to make sure they’re aligned on key priorities.

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Bill Campbell, executive coach to the top executives at Google, had a suggested approach to the 1:1. Instead of leaving the conversation open, he required both the manager and the team member to bring a list of 5 things to discuss. At the start of the meeting, they would match lists and talk about whatever is on both lists first. After that, they would spend time on 4 topics – performance on job requirements, relationships with peer teams, leadership and innovation.

The first step, however, was key. After all, 1:1s existed to solve problems. If a problem was on both lists, it was clearly top priority. On the other hand, if the lists had no matches, it suggested to Bill that there were much bigger problems at hand.

Here’s to testing Bill Campbell-style 1:1s.

Great management is a discipline, a daily practice of small things like a well-structured 1:1, that when summed across years of collaboration, create dramatic and sweeping change. – Tom Tunguz reflecting on Bill Campbell style 1:1

Source and thanks to: How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg