Ariel Camus is the CEO and Founder of Microverse, an online school for international software developers. Microverse provides opportunities, support, and accountability for those who don't have an accessible introduction to the tech job market.
Microverse’s fully remote programming follows a collaborative learning methodology and prepares students for the remote work environment. So, like us at Spot, Ariel is quite passionate about supporting healthy collaboration. One on one meetings are a non-negotiable meeting style for the team at Microverse, and Ariel’s preferred method for training and empowering his team of 50 employees.
His first tip?
According to Ariel, meeting with people outside of your direct team will give you a more complete perspective on things you might otherwise miss, like project updates or the experience of a new employee.
A big concern for Ariel, who works with people all over the world, is how different cultures react to hierarchy and their comfort levels when speaking with people whom they work with. For this, he suggests starting the 1 on 1 meeting with the Stoplight Technique. Ask the other person “How are you feeling today: Red, yellow or green?” Ariel has observed that it becomes easier for someone to open up if they’ve already signaled to the person they’re meeting with that something isn’t going well. Ariel suggests that managers keep aware of the colors being used by their direct reports week after week. If something is red, immediate action should be taken, and if something is recurrently yellow, a deeper conversation may need to take place.
For regular 1 on 1 meetings, Ariel always encourages the person he’s meeting with to determine the agenda. As a leader, he feels it's important to make sure you’re paying enough attention to the other person's concerns and addressing them promptly.
“One on one meetings are about the person I’m meeting with… it’s their moment.”
This approach changes when the 1 on 1 is a Feedback Session or a Performance Review; then it's the manager’s responsibility to set the agenda and lead the discussion.
This article is part of a series highlighting expert voices in remote team leadership. If you’d like to contribute your perspective, please email Salo@meetwithspot.com.
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