6How to Start Doing One On Ones

If you've decided to start doing Manager Tools One On Ones, I'm excited for you. MTO3s will become the core of your managerial behavioral set.

Let's walk through, step-by-step, exactly what to do to get your O3s started.

Choose Times from Your Calendar

In order to send out an e-mail letting your team know that you're going to start doing One On Ones, you need to pick times on your calendar from which the team can choose their recurring appointment. Take the number of directs you have, multiply that number by 1.5, and that's the number of choices you need to make available to your team in your e-mail. If you have 10 directs, you need 15 half-hour time slots, or 7.5 hours.

Look at your calendar three to four weeks from now to choose the times. Don't look at this week or the next couple—you're probably too busy right now. Avoid times right before and after staff meetings, or regular meetings with your boss. Don't choose Monday morning, because meetings slow people down, and you don't want to slow them down at the start of the week. Don't choose Friday afternoon, because if your O3 gets stepped on, you won't have time to reschedule. Some managers prefer to have all of their O3s on one day (if they don't have too many). Some managers prefer to spread them out. Our data are inconclusive about which works better—do what works for you.

Don't let your directs choose whatever time works for them. We've tested that. It will wreak havoc on your schedule. ...

Get The Effective Manager now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.