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The 15 Most Important Minutes of the Work Week

| May 14, 2013

by Jim Bruce

Today’s reading, “The 15 Most Important Minutes of the Work Week” <>, is from the pen of Lydia Dishman, business journalist covering innovation, entrepreneurship, and style.  She regularly writes for FastCompany, CBSMoneywatch, and the New York Times.

Dishman begins her essay by asking “How often do you and your boss have a real one-on-one conversation about your work?”  Once a year?  Once a month?  Once a week?  The essay argues for once a week saying that  each manager should have a time, it doesn’t have to be long, with each direct report to give and gather feedback and to increase engagement.  

Although the piece does talk about a software application from 15Five to help these conversations, that isn’t the real point.  The point is to have a short conversation focusing of a set of questions to connect the leader/manager to the staff member.

Some of the question-sets Dishman suggests are:

1.  From 15Five:

     • What did you do this week to help another member of your team?

     • On a scale of 0 to 10, how happy were you at work this week?

     • Did you learn anything new or awesome this week that you’d like to

        share or try with the team?  What is it?

     • What aspect of our organization do you worry about the most?

2. From Warby Parker:

     • List one idea to improve your individual productivity, the team’s 

        productivity or the client’s experience.

     • On a scale of 0 to 10, how happy were you at work this week?

3.  The 15Five default set:

     • What’s going well?

     • What are your challenges?

     • What help do you need?

     • On a scale of 0 to 10, how happy were you at work this week?

The bottom line here is that the leader/manager needs to be in touch with each staff member to keep them engaged understanding that they are part of something bigger and that they are valued for their contribution.  Hassell, CEO of 5Five, puts it this way:  “There’s no simpler way or more clear statement a company can make than simply giving their employees a voice – asking them for feedback on a regular basis and engaging in an open and authentic dialogue about their successes, challenges, ideas, and morale.”

Take some of your reflection time this week to ask whether you are adequately connected with your staff?  And, if not, ask yourself the hard question, how do I get to that level of connection?


Have a great week.  .  .  .    jim