You should aim to meet with your team individually at least every other week. But the golden rule with 121’s is make them effective for them. This is their space to open up and bring their issues and achievements to the table. This should not be an opportunity to just go through a to do list.
Here are a few things I like to ask / use in 121’s to help develop and nurture my teams:
- Use open ended questions to get into the detail about issues or problems they may be having
- Ask how they are getting on with other teams members
- Ask for updates on specific projects and help them deal with any problems
- Celebrate their achievements
- Help them identify things they would change if things have not gone to plan
- Silence – remember to give them plenty of opportunities to answer your questions and really open up
- How can I help you?
- What is blocking this project?
- What is the one small thing you can do to move a project forward?
- Mix up the location, meetings rooms can often feel too formal so take them out for coffee or use a breakout area or go for a walk
Remember to make the 121 a safe place to offload with no come back. Your team should feel able to and empowered to come to you with their problems and only you can create the environment and conditions for that to happen.