By Tyler Jefford
On August 19th, 2020
At the end of each 1-1 I ask the same set of questions. No matter where the conversation has taken us, I want to be sure to leave open a couple minutes to ask about what I can do for you.
Is there anything you need from me?
Anything I can do for you?
Or anything I can help you with?
Then I listen. Its not just about the direct answers, but also the uncertainty in the answers I want to hear. Is someone struggling with a particular task? Can I have someone pair with you to help get a better understanding? Have you asked me something in passing and I completely forgot? Do you need approval on something, or does someone need poked to push something through?
Sometimes it can be about expense reports, which I try to get to as soon as they come across my email but can certainly slip to the bottom of the pile. But a reminder always helps me keep it top of mind. Or maybe its about a weird CI/CD issue that needs multiple teams to be involved, and I can help get the right people involved to get the issue resolved.
I want to be explicit in allowing for direct write access to my TODO list. If I can’t answer you right away, I am going to log this item in my todo list and get an answer for you as soon as possible. I don’t want to be the bottleneck preventing you from producing the best work you can, in the most comfortable way you can.
I encourage you to ask the same in your next 1-1s and see how you can start being an empathetic leader through listening.