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How to have productive 1-on-1s with peers

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [L4] at Google2 months ago

My team is a fairly distributed team, so I've setup monthly 1-on-1s with everyone to help build up relationships.

For 1-on-1s like this, what strategies do you use to build strong relationships quickly?

Most resources on 1-on-1s focus on ones with your manager. But I feel like there's a difference here.

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    There's definitely a difference between manager 1:1s and peer 1:1s (you probably won't talk about promotion plan with your fellow L4 for example), but they're not that different. My primary goals with any 1 on 1 meeting are:

    1. Get as much value from it as possible
    2. Make them like me
    3. Figure out how to add value to them

    All 3 of these are sort of interconnected, but there are a lot of actions which only fit in 1 bucket. For example, showing positive body language to signal that I'm very interested in what they have to say is more in bucket #2.

    When it comes to tactics, here's a bunch:

    1. Come in with an agenda
    2. Show interested body language (as mentioned before)
    3. Make small talk where you can
    4. Leave with action items (and then do them)
    5. Understand their problems (and where you can fit in to solve them)

    Here's some good resources to do all of that:

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    Eng @ Taro
    2 months ago

    For 1-on-1s like this, what strategies do you use to build strong relationships quickly?

    It's very helpful to find out if there's a similar connection between you two, maybe a hobby or where you live. Even when there's no connection, you can dive deeper into what the other person likes to do in their free time. Once you get the wheels greased, it's easier to talk about work-related items.

    Try to provide value to the other person by connecting them with other people, showing them easier ways to get something done, or by pointing them to a resource to help out any problems they are facing.

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