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Level-up Engineering - Coding Sans EPISODE 25, 19th August 2020
One on One Meeting Guide: James Stanier (SVP of Engineering, Brandwatch)
00:00:00 00:42:46

One on One Meeting Guide: James Stanier (SVP of Engineering, Brandwatch)

Avoid the rookie mistakes engineering managers and engineering leaders make at running one on one meetings. James Stanier, SVP of Engineering at Brandwatch, and author of "Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager" will teach you how to handle one on ones with both introverts, and people who complain all the time, along with many more tips and tricks.

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In this interview we're covering:

  • The goal of a one on one meeting
  • The ideal frequency of one on one meetings
  • One on one preparation tips for engineering managers
  • Handling challenging personalities
  • Documenting your one on ones
  • Critical feedback at one on ones
  • Common mistakes of engineering managers
  • Walking versus sitting one on ones
  • One on one meeting with a new team member
  • One on one meetings questions and topics
  • Doing one on ones with individual contributors vs managers
  • Preparing engineering managers to run one on ones
  • How direct reports should prepare for one on ones

Excerpt from the interview:

"Remember; venting to your manager is fine. Sometimes people get frustrated and need to blow off steam in a private setting. You should support this.

If it becomes a recurring thing though, it's your duty as a manager to turn this into constructive energy. In this situation, you rarely have anything to say; you're just listening to a frustrated person. Sometimes you try to turn the conversation in a positive direction, but they just vent more, and you end up getting frustrated yourself.

I’ve dealt with employees who were venting all the time. I’m a good listener, but it can backfire when I run into these people. The first time I had a team member doing this early in my management career, I had no idea what to do.

Many weeks went by until I finally said..."

Click here to read the full interview!