32 mins

1:1s, or intentional time set aside for managers and their direct reports, are magical: they're where you learn what "sparks joy" for your staffer and where they're secretly flagging. They're where you can get ahead of team discord and ferret out communication dysfunctions. But many leaders aren't making 1:1s a practice because they're not sure how useful they are, or because they don't know how to get started, or because they're just not sure how to fit them into their schedule. But as Michael Lopp puts it in his book Managing Humans, "Your reward for a culture of healthy one-on-ones is a distinct lack of drama."

Inspired by Marie Kondo's work on tidying up, I'll share how establishing and protecting regularly-scheduled 1:1s can be the organizational housekeeping your team needs. It was my direct experience of the benefits of 1:1s while working as a software engineer that led me to bring them to my current team, where I work as Director of Engineering managing senior engineers and architects.