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Six Steps to Ensure Alignment with Your Direct Reports

Updated: May 20, 2021

Managing Direct Reports

I would suggest having a quarterly one-on-one meeting with each of your direct reports.

In each of these meetings, ask the following six questions:

1. Where are we going? As the manager, share your views on key priorities for the larger organization. Then ask for your direct report’s views. This dialogue will help ensure alignment between your views and her views on wha

2. Where are you going? Give your views on where the direct report should be headed. Then ask for her views on the desired direction.

3. What are you doing well? Share your views on the direct report's key achievements. Then ask her to share her perceptions on what she is doing well.

4. What changes can lead to improvement? Share your ideas on how you can make more progress in the future – then ask for her ideas.

5. How can I help? Ask for ideas on how you can better help her achieve agreed-upon goals.

6. What suggestions do you have for me? Ask for her ideas on changes that you can make to become a more effective manager.

In between each quarterly “six questions” dialogue, establish your mutual responsibility for continued alignment. Let her be responsible for immediately contacting you if she is ever uncertain about priorities or needs feedback. You be responsible for contacting her, if the business situation changes and you need to re-set priorities.

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