Easy check-in questions for your 1:1s during times of crisis
Here are the questions I’ve been asking in coaching calls with managers and individual contributors alike, to get a gut check on how folks are feeling during this awful, strange season—without making the conversation too heavy.
Please feel free to use them in your own one-on-ones!
What’s been working for you so far?
What’s been hardest? (Or: what’s been the most surprising thing?)
What’s your north star right now? (Or: what are you optimizing for during this unusual time?)
If you’re talking to a manager or leader: What feedback have you gotten on your leadership during this time?
What’s one thing you want to experiment with right now?
And here are some tips on how to ask these questions, straight from the brilliant mind of Paloma Medina:
Ask them to expand on their answer so you can understand their underlying core needs: If they say “I am really worried about this deadline!” ask them to expand: “Oh, say more about that…” or “Ah, which part do you think is the most likely to lead to that?”
ALWAYS confirm with them if your inference is correct: For example, “So, if you and I checked in more frequently over Slack, you would feel better about this, did I get that right?”
For more resources like this, here are all of my blog posts on leading through crises.
Extra COVID-19 leadership resources
A roundup of stuff I’ve shared or participated in over the last 3 weeks.
Leading teams through times of uncertainty and upheaval: Panel discussion
On this panel, we took a look at how to lead engineering teams in times of uncertainty, understanding that times of change affect people in different ways due to their personal circumstances, and identify the responsibilities of leaders during these situations. 45 minute video
Becoming A Resilient Manager: Podcast
In this episode of Scaling Software Teams, I provided Wes with some 1:1 coaching on his management style and used the BICEPS framework to help him better understand resistance patterns he may see in his daily work. 39 minute podcast
The Psychology of Virtual Meetings
Paloma Medina is leading this virtual workshop that helps you survive virtual meetings! Including how and why the brain affected by them differently than in person meetings. 90 minute workshop
Low-Challenge, High-Skill Tasks in Terrible Times
“For the last month I’ve found myself subconsciously jumping on “easier” tickets where I feel a high level of expertise (CSS tasks, layouts, prototypes) and I’ve struggled to get through tickets that have a high learning curve or cognitive load.” Blog post by Dave Rupert
In case it’s helpful, here are all my posts about how to lead through crises.