Two of our leaders got together to glean from one another tips and strategies for leading and coaching team members this week. When the debrief came across my email, it was pure gold. I knew I had to share the details with the PMAW crew:

I meet with direct reports bi-weekly and with indirect reports every four weeks. 

In coaching 16 people, it is essential to find the right cadence and schedule. Early on, I stacked coaching sessions one after another. While doing three sessions back-to-back felt may have felt efficient, it became challenging for me to be fully present, and in the end, it was draining. As much as I love coaching sessions, they require substantial energy. Often, even though I don’t realize it at the moment, I feel it at the end of the day. 

Daniel Pink’s “When” is incredibly fascinating in the way it addresses the science of timing and day structure. I’m mixing it up as we speak. 

In the whirlwind of daily tasks, I’ve realized that two coaching sessions per day are my max. And they have to start after 9:30 am and end before 3:30 pm. This schedule paves the way to start and finish the workday tackling the urgent and essential priorities.   

Before our weekly check-ins, each team member fills out a Google doc (that’s mixed up from time to time) in preparation for our connection. 

Here’s the current question set:

  • Where did you kick butt in the last week(s) that I should know?
  • What’s one thing you need to get done that you haven’t executed yet?
  • Where is one spot you wish you had more self-discipline in right now? 
  • What are your top short-term priorities?
  • What are your top long-term, big-picture priorities?
  • Are there any hard conversations you need to have?
  • Where do you need me to keep you accountable?
  • Who are you challenging right now, and who are you inviting into more?
  • Anything else?

Here are some additional questions that I use in my rotation for the pre-check-in doc:

  • In what ways are you changing the atmosphere within the team? 
  • What do you think that I think about you? 
  • Are there any spaces you feel misunderstood or mislabeled? 
  • What ideas are you toying with right now? What’s keeping you from implementing them? 
  • Can you name where you are being invited/challenged right now?
  • Any superpowers you have that I should know?
  • What would you like to be known for within the team? 
  • Walk out the next 90 days, one year, and five years. What does that look like for you? 
  • Are you leaving space to dream or marinate on fresh ideas? 
  • Are there any spots where your rhythm isn’t sustainable long-term? 

Cheers to coaching people up and unearthing the gold!!

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