Dazzle your new manager in your next one-on-one meeting

May 26, 2021


A Refound guide for new jobs and new grads

Congratulations on your new job! You made it through the gauntlet of resumes and recruitment and are ready to get started.

This job—any job—is more than task lists and project timelines. This work you’ve been hired to do impacts a team of people and matters to an entire company. And what you’ll see is that in the modern business, how you do your work is as important as the work itself. Do you collaborate? Do you ask questions? Do you reflect on your own behavior to get better? Work — especially in a high-growth business— is an incredible opportunity for personal development.

Now— not a year from now—is the moment to step into your role the right way. And the fastest way you can do that is to align with your new boss. Even the best managers are challenged to get this right because creating clear expectations and ownership for each role isn’t easy.

Use this step-by-step tool to create agreements with your manager about your work. You’ll be demonstrating your motivation and commitment to make a positive impact at the company. And you’ll be making their job a little easier in the process.

In short, you’ll dazzle them.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Review the questionnaires below and think about your own answers to the Contributor Questionnaire. Spend two minutes on each response.
  2. Before your next one-on-one, let your manager know you’d like to set priorities and discuss accountability within your role. Offer that, unless they have any objections, you’d like to use an accountability resource to frame and organize your conversations.
  3. During your meeting, share the three questionnaires (Contributor, Leader, and Ownership Agreements) and discuss your initial thoughts from your personal review. Discuss your goals for alignment, what you hope to accomplish, and any concerns. Ask your manager if they would fill out their version so you could talk about them together at your next meeting.
  4. Each of you complete your respective questionnaire about your role, without comparing notes.
  5. In the next one-on-one meeting, you and your manager take five minutes each to share your responses in an open dialogue. Note any surprises or gaps and revise the responses together to come to an agreement.
  6. Together, fill out the Ownership Agreements and refer back to them in ongoing conversations.


Leader/Manager Questionnaire

WHY: Why does this role exist? How does excellence in this role connect to the company's mission and goals?


WHAT
: What's the question a person in this role should ask each day to stay committed to the purpose? What are the intangible qualities I’m looking for people to embody in this role?

WHAT
: What are the three primary objectives for this role in the next 90 days? What are three things that I need them to have or take ownership of over the next 90 days?


WHAT
: What are the three metrics (qualitative or quantitative) that will measure whether the agreement has been fulfilled? How do I know that this person has taken ownership of their primary objectives?

HOW: What decisions can this person make on their own? What decisions do they need support or approval on? What do I expect this person to consult me on? What do I want them to decide on their own?


Contributor Questionnaire

WHY: Why does this role exist? Why did the organization create this position?

WHAT: What's the question a person in this role should ask each day to stay committed to the purpose? What is that "extra ingredient" that I know or sense my manager is looking for in the work I do?

WHAT: What are the three primary objectives for this role in the next 90 days? What are three things that I have or want to take ownership of over the next 90 days?

WHAT: What are the three metrics (qualitative or quantitative) that will measure whether the agreement has been fulfilled? How do I know that I am delivering in support of the agreement I've made?

HOW: What decisions can I make on my own? What decisions do I need support or approval on? What do I want them to let me decide on my own?


Ownership Agreements

Agreed to by:
Date:

WHY: Why did the organization create this position? How does excellence in this role connect to the company's mission and goals?

WHAT: What's the question a person in this role should ask each day to stay committed to the purpose? What are intangible drivers of success in this role?

WHAT: What are the three primary objectives for this role in the next 90 days?

WHAT: What are the three metrics (qualitative or quantitative) that will measure whether the agreement has been fulfilled?

HOW: What decisions does the person in this role make on their own? What decisions do they need support or approval on?

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