Discussion topics to learning to know the members of your team

A dark silhuette image of six people climbing a hillside with tall grass
Photo by Tobias Mrzyk / Unsplash

New to managing a team? A new team to manage? New members in the team? Employee satisfaction scores down? Dissatisfaction in the team?

Maybe things are pretty okay, but you're just wondering how to navigate and gain understanding of the people, so that you can better support and serve the members of your team.

The first step should be to understand the lay of the land and establish direction that you want to pursue. Action without direction is just filling the void with irrelevant noise and indeed irresponsible expenditure of everyone's time.

... But if you don't know where you're going
Any road will take you there
– Any road, lyrics by George Harrison

This set of articles will not make you a great manager. What it provides ready-to-use topics for one-on-one discussions, so that you can start gathering the necessary insights about the people in your team in a structured manner. From experience I know that it's not easy to start whipping up good conversation pieces in an improvised manner.

So is there something you want to talk about today?
– Anonymous manager

The questions lead towards a basic level initial understanding of the members of thea tea, it's up to you what you do with that understanding.

The good and the bad managers you’ve had
Learn of your employees’ experiences with good and bad managers.

Receiving and giving feedback
A topic for a 1-to-1 meetings, for professional development

On the experience of collaborating with the team members
A topic for 1on1 talks to learn the team’s level of collaboration

The parts of your job that you like the most and the least
To understand your employees’ likes and dislikes of the different parts of the job.

Citations, references