The CRAFT Model for Better One on One Meetings

The CRAFT Model is a model I am roughly using for the one on ones I run with my own team. It’s a backronym of my own devising.

Connect – Don’t let the meetings become rote; they should be more than status updates. Keep them honest and useful.

Review – Before the meeting, review action items that both of you took at the last meeting. Nothing will make these meetings more ineffectual than a lack of follow up.

Agenda – These meetings should be driven by the employee. Prompt them to update the shared agenda before the meeting.

Feedback – Gather feedback and provide it. I try to reach out to the customer, our product owner, and members of the team to see how things are going on the project.

Theme – I like to set a theme for a cycle of one on ones. I see everyone on my team every two weeks, so I come up with a topic or question that I can ask everyone in their one on ones. This allows me to get a cross-section view of something. The topics vary, but they are all the sorts of things you’d normally talk about in a one on one, just as the focal point. For example, a recent one for me was a bias for action – it led to some good conversations with a few of the junior engineers.

I say that I am only roughly using this because things come up; if there is an urgent issue, or if they have something they’d like to talk about it will usually override the normal structure.

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