What to cover in 1-on-1 feedback sessions

Another tag surfing session, another interesting blog.  Mike Chitty at Progressive Manager’s Network posts on prioritizing the subjects covered in 1-on-1 meetings (here).  I have regular standing meetings — jour fixes for you Eurocentric folks — with my team, so I was all ears.

Mike leverages a Covey tool — the prioritization matrix below — to focus on what should be covered in 1-on-1’s (he calls them 121’s).

121s almost compel you to focus on quadrant 2 type activities.  Quadrant 1 stuff has to be done almost immediately- it can’t wait for a 121.  And who is going to continually bring quadrant 3 and 4 items into play with their manager?

It is pretty obvious what should be on the agenda when you look at the matrix.  Some of my 1-on-1’s have devolved into variations on regular initiative status meetings — mostly Quadrant III (urgent/not important).  Going forward, I’m going to be more clear that 1-on-1’s should focus on Quadrant II topics.

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