Weekly One-on-Ones

Every Wednesday, I meet one-on-one with our three senior designers for one hour. 

Until recently, the format has been open-ended. Sometimes, we spend most of the time reviewing designs. Other times, we go deep on themes such as role definition on projects or how to distill client feedback.

In recent weeks, I noticed a trend. If there wasn't much activity on their projects, they wouldn't prepare much to discuss. Early Wednesday, I'd receive a message: Hey, I don't have much to discuss. We can probably end early. 

While we'd always end up using the full hour anyway, it was clear that the meeting structure was worth revisiting. Last week, I rolled out a new format. Here's a look:

Highlight of the Week (5-10 min)

Project Review (30 min)

Open Discussion (remaining time)

  • Anything that’s come up lately that you think I should know about?
  • Are there any ways I could better support you?
  • Have there been any recent situations where you’d like my advice on how to handle it now or next time?
  • How much time are you spending on executing work? Overseeing? Anything you'd change?
  • How much time do you spend in meetings? Are there any you don’t feel you need to attend?
  • What do you think are the biggest blockers right now for the team?
  • What is your favorite part of your role? Why is that?
  • What is your least favorite part of your role? How do you handle that?

The new format is meant to uncover thoughts and ideas that may not otherwise get surfaced. While we still have time to review designs, the goal is to make sure we leave time for open discussion. If there's nothing pressing on the designer's mind, the list of questions can be used as a guide. Whichever question feels most relevant is where we start.

We're only one week in, but the questions have already proven to be incredibly insightful. With shared notes in place, I'm excited to see how their answers to the same question evolve.