Julia Evans

1:1 topic ideas

Danielle Sucher started this great thread on twitter asking for ideas for what to talk about in 1:1s with your manager. I’m writing some of them up here so I don’t forget.

  • What’s happening now that I would like to not be happening in a month? (@zmagg)
  • Am I having tension with any of my colleagues I want to resolve before it gets worse?
  • what are promotions for? where am I relative to that, and what should I be working on?
  • or: “This is how I would like promotions to work when they happen. How would I fit in to that if they did?”
  • turn it around: what are you thinking about right now? what’s your top priority? what’s worrying you about this team?
  • Am I happy with my current project?
  • Do I feel like I’m learning? Are there things I feel like I’m not learning that I would like to?
  • Are there things about the way the team is working together that feel bad to me?
  • periodically: where do I want to be with my career?

There’s this further list of 101 questions to try that I find really really helpful as an exhaustive grab bag of “oh no I don’t know what to talk about give me ideas please!!!”.

ideas for how to think about 1:1s more generally:

  • If I’d be comfortable talking about it in front of all my coworkers, don’t talk about that. (@zmagg, @mrb_bk)
  • It is SO EASY to forget everything that was bothering me when I get to a 1:1. Keep a shared list throughout the week! TONS of people said that they keep some kind of list of things to bring up in their 1:1 meetings and I reeeally want to try it now.
  • Keep track of what we’ve talked about in previous weeks to see if there are any patterns! Maybe in a shared list, so we can easily see “oh we haven’t talked about careers in 3 months! let’s talk about that this week!”

Some links:

You can choose who submits talks to your conference Nancy Drew and the Case of the Slow Program