Async your 1:1s w/ Luke Thomas CEO & Founder @ Friday

Most 1:1s follow the same format. A few minutes of chit chat, share updates, and ask questions. What happens when you do them asynchronously & put them on auto-pilot? Spoiler: You save lots of time, get better feedback, and focus on building deeper relationships



6/6/202125 min read

Here's the recap...In today's episode, we chatted with Luke Thomas, CEO & Founder @ Friday. We spoke about the origin story of Friday centered on broken communication. We discussed why you should change your 1:1s to async meetings. Finally, how Friday helps remote teams collaborate & communicate better. My favorite part, that our standard meetings should be replaced with team building and fun. I 💕 this!

This is Part Three of our series on async communication. For part one click here & part two click here & part four here.

Related References

Luke Thomas on Linkedin

Luke Thomas on Twitter


Async 1:1s Youtube video

Friday's book async

High Management Output by Andrew Grove

Put the boring parts of your 1:1s on auto-pilot 🧑‍✈️

Most 1:1s today follow the same routine. Chit chat for a few minutes, then share updates & feedback, and finally ask your employee for feedback/questions. There's typically a document the manager reads off from for the middle part. Blah Blah!

These meetings are supposed to be all about the employee and their opportunity to really engage. Yet, in many cases both sides simply follow the dance steps until the end of the song.

Instead you can automate and async these. Whether using Friday, another app, or simply dropping in questions into Slack. Like how productive did you feel this week, what's 1 thing that really made you happy this week, or similar. These questions replace the experience of putting the employee on the spot of coming up with something. They also tend to get more honest and clear responses. Emojis can be a super powerful tool. As studies say a 😔 can equate to an employee walking into your office with a frown.

The weekly updates can be read at the time for the employee. Giving them the chance to better digest what they've read and help formulate better questions and responses

Most importantly this meeting gets replaced by a fun bonding meeting/conversation. Where the focus is on each person and their lives outside the office. Helping foster that deeper connection.

At best asynchronous meetings can replace synchronous ones. At minimum they can make synchronous meetings more clear & valuable

Imagine you have a new major policy change coming or want to discuss a new product idea. You could get the entire team in a meeting or Zoom call and read thru a Powerpoint presentation. After 50 minutes of a presentation putting everyone to sleep

ask for questions.

Instead you could craft a well written document outlining the policy change, why you're doing it, and how it will effect everyone. Now share it with the team and ask for feedback by the end of the week. Once again, giving people time to read it and develop thoughtful feedback.

If you want to meet in the middle try this. On Monday send a Wed/Thurs calendar invite that includes the well crafted document. Open the floor to feedback and questions prior to the meeting. Communicate before the meeting ensuring everything is clear and perhaps some/most questions or confusion are resolved. During the meeting follow up with any additional open items or feedback. Likely saving 50% of the time you would have spent in a regular meeting. Since everyone cam well prepared.

If text+face time can build deeper romantic relationships just imagine what it can do for team engagement & connection

Studies of teenagers have found that relationships started on texting with regular in-person meetings are deeper than those where the couple simply texted. The short story, long form text providing a much deeper foundation of the person and personality. When meeting in person, they pulled in insights from that long form more honest story of their partner.

Scott: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Thank you for tuning into another episode of Leading from Afar. I'm Scott Markovits with my cohost Tevi Hirschhorn. We are back after a week off. And happy to be recording part three of our series on async communication.

So today we're happy to be joined by Luke Thomas. Who's the CEO and co-founder of Friday. Friday helps distributed teams stay connected and succeed at async communication by road-mapping your day. Helping you stay in sync with your team. And most importantly to me, giving you the ability to have fewer and much better meetings.

And Luke posted something potentially controversial. And I hope we're going to be able to throw some gloves around about this. About the idea of totally async on your one-on-ones. So Luke, usually the way that we start off is just telling us a little bit more about yourself and the origin story of Friday.

Luke: [00:00:51] Yeah, sure. So a little bit about me. I'm Luke the founder of Friday. I've been working remotely since about 2013 or so. I've worked for a few different companies, ranging in sizes from small early-stage startups to larger organizations. During that time I've worked in a variety of roles, individual contributor, or team leader.

Now I'm more in an executive role and so I've experienced the pain and the benefit of working from anywhere. And that's what caused me to start Friday. Because remote work and working from anywhere has very clear benefits, namely that it creates a more flexible work environment. But you are missing out on things when you are not altogether in the same room.

So the question I always struggled with was I'm working remotely. This is amazing. However, there are very clear pain points that need to be minimized if not resolved. And so the reason why I started Friday was that for every company I worked at, I would just always run into the same issues.

The most important I would argue is, what is going on? Before you could walk around in the office and you could just observe, and capture, and gather all this context through observation and through your senses. But when you're remote, you have to troll through slack, or a project management tool, or jump on a Zoom call and spend your day in meetings.

That's problem number one. Problem number two is, how does my work actually fit into the bigger picture here? Oftentimes company goals, strategy, values, the reason why the company exists it's not really documented or reinforced. And so that can oftentimes lead to this feeling where you don't really know why your work even matters.

Then the third is, who do I actually work with here? Are they people, are they robots? I would just keep running into these issues. I think there's a way to build some software to try to help. Because of workplace chat and your project management tools, I just didn't feel were cutting it.

It was like, you're getting this fire hose of information, but it wasn't the right information and it wasn't happening on a predictable basis. I'm getting overwhelmed here. But I'm not able to learn and unpack what I actually need to know. And so Friday was based out of that.

Originally I started it off as a weekly check-in tool. It was between an employee and a manager once a week. The employee answers a few quick questions about their week. The manager has a chance to review it. And then you can kick start and accelerate meaningful conversations, no matter where you are. Since then, it's expanded.

I'm still trying to figure out the right way of describing it, but it's a complementary tool to workplace chat. It's a part communication tool, part operating system. Our goal as a company is really to help. We see all these wonderful companies like Gitlab, Zapier, and others who've really figured out remote work and asynchronous communication. But it took a lot of effort.

And in many instances, they started right from the beginning that way. So then the question is how can we end up at that outcome? How can any company end up at that outcome? It actually requires a significant amount of change. We think that software can play a role because most companies are on one side where they're drowning and meetings. They're constantly bombarded with Slack pings and they want to accelerate this change, but it requires a huge amount of effort and trial and error to get it right. Because its behavior change at scale. So what Friday does is we try to create tools that are opinionated to help you bridge that gap. So that you can operate in a similar way to what the best companies are doing.

So that's us in a nutshell. It's essentially, an asynchronous operating system.

Tevi: [00:05:07] That's awesome. Thanks for sharing that. So a lot of companies are struggling. They're still struggling with remote. They don't know how to get it. And the idea of saying we're going to communicate asynchronously is wild to a lot of people. Can you give us a brief description of what async communication is and maybe some ground rules?

Luke: [00:05:27] So one of my friends puts it really well and he says, "asynchronous communication is like my time communication." Where essentially the idea is that someone communicates and you can respond at a time that makes the most sense for you. And for those who don't know what asynchronous communication is, it's anytime you send an email, it's essentially asynchronous communication.

Because the other person can respond at a time and a place that makes the most sense for them. So by default, it's an intrinsically more flexible way of communicating. Because it does not require a presence on both sides of the equation, right? The sender of the message and the recipient do not need to be present at the same moment in time.

That's really the big unlock. Written communication has existed for thousands of years. So this is not anything new. But we think that there's an opportunity to help modernize that. Asynchronous communication is just a more flexible way of communicating.

If we know anything about remote work and why people like working from anywhere, it's that it's because of the flexibility that it offers. So it makes perfect sense. If you look at these best companies, they have shifted more and more of their communication, so that it's asynchronous by default. So that they can tap into the benefits of working from anywhere.

Another way I think about it is. The office hasn't been around that long. It really exploded in popularity in the 1800s. It was started as a way for leaders to better coordinate and watch over kind of the factory floor-type employees. What the office did, was it really had an opinionated way of encouraging communication, right? Like the open office floor plan, for example, was created to create those natural collisions. However, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. It trained people, especially before the pandemic, that this is the way we work. now what's happening is people have to start unwinding some of that.

It's not necessarily that meeting up in person and having in-person conversations is bad. I'm not arguing for that but my point is that we over-indexed a little bit too much. It was largely due to the environment that we created in which work was done. What's happening now and the way I think about the problem that we're trying to solve at Friday is we're trying to create a little bit more balance here.

Because the minute that people went remote, they essentially just said, "Okay we did this in the office. Let's just do this online." And they're finding that didn't work. Some people are still doing it. Some people are slowly adapting their behavior. However, they're starting to conclude that they need to rearchitect and rethink the way that they communicate and that they share information. So we're, just trying to restore a little balance here.

Tevi: [00:08:32] It's async first as opposed to interruption first communication.

Luke: [00:08:37] Yeah. I think it's just really important to reiterate and hammer home is our view is that asynchronous versus synchronous, they are two tools for two for different jobs, right? There are tools in your toolbox. There's a time and a place to use one. There's a time and a place to use than another.

After spending a lot of time researching this more for personal curiosity, to be honest. Is that asynchronous kind of has some superpowers and those superpowers are that you can revise your message before you click send. Backspace, which allows you to hopefully many instances formulating more composed message where you are filtering and you are revising the message to improve clarity.

The second is that it automatically persists by default, right? It's saved, it's stored on the hard drive, and it can be referenced later. Which in many instances helps reduce miscommunication because you have something that you can reference instead of trying to process it or pull it out of your brain from three weeks ago.

One really fascinating thing, maybe this feathers into the one-on-one component here is that people oftentimes are more honest behind a screen. To illustrate, if you ever go on Facebook or Twitter, people say some really terrible things that they would probably never say if they were sitting next to each other.

Why is that? It's because they can't process facial reactions. They can do the flame war and then leave. Oftentimes they can be anonymous, as well. However, what you can actually do is if you create some tightly scoped guard rails, you can encourage people to disclose especially in a manager and employee relationship, you can encourage them to disclose things that would actually be very difficult to capture in a meeting.

Especially an introverted person, give them time to think through what they're going to say and give them the space to write it down and send it your way. You may find that they will tell you so much more than you would capture if you were to just point blank ask them a question in a meeting.

So long story short, that is the benefit of asynchronous communication. Just to recap. Revisability. It persists by default. When structured correctly, it can be more unfiltered, which increases kind of self-disclosure. Then on the flip side, you have synchronous communication. And what that's really great for is that you have a fast feedback loop, right?

So as I'm talking right now, I'm watching your nods. And what that does is it helps me. I'm constantly re-evaluating and regulating myself on this conversation. We're also, I'm able to learn more about you because I'm able to observe through sight. I'm able to hear.

It's not an HD video right now, per se, but I'm capturing way more data right now. So not only am I getting a fast feedback loop, but I'm also capturing a lot more data than I would through an asynchronous piece of communication. So long story short, what ends up happening is that asynchronous communication is wonderful at conveying facts and information with low ambiguity.

Synchronous communication is best for converging around the shared meaning and for building better relationships. Two different tools in the toolbox. When you mix them together, you are able to, in many ways, tap into both of the benefits versus if you were to just do one.

Scott: [00:12:21] That's great. I'd like to take a few of the points that you've spoken about the Zapier, Doist, companies like that. The restructuring of how companies are doing things that have been remote. Coming from maybe a bias that I've had in my remote experience. Personally, my mind has changed over doing all these podcasts is that asynchronous was great for later on in the history of the company. When you're early on, when you have 5, 10, 15, 20 people, synchronous is the way to go and.

Looking at Friday at the LinkedIn profile, you're obviously still small. I think most of the team is in the US, with a very heavy presence in the Northeast. So if that's true and that's still correct, why not just use a synchronous model? Because we're not battling those cultural issues.

There's somebody in Dubai. There's somebody in Australia and having the time overlap is difficult. If most people are there, why not use this synchronous model as a standard?

Luke: [00:13:15] Yeah. The LinkedIn company profile is not indicative of our company. To give you some context we have team members all across the world. So specifically there's a 16-hour start to end. One employee, he's in Bangladesh, and then another one is on the way west coast of California. So we almost have 24-hour coverage. We're getting close. And so meetings are incredibly expensive for us. We do have some hires up here in the Northeast. And we do have some clustered in Nashville, Tennessee. So that's a one-hour time. But yeah, we have people in Europe. Like all over the place.

We only have three meetings a month, and that's because meetings are super not expensive in a dollar-cost way, but from coordination costs. " Hey, let's do a daily standup at midnight for one of our team members." That sounds terrible. Especially if it's just here's what I'm doing today. If you have a question, if you run into a blocker and it's really important to have the meeting, let's have a meeting.

We have three regularly scheduled meetings a month. One is a monthly kickoff and then two out of three are bi-weekly just hangout sessions. Where we all jump on a call, do essentially show and tell. We show and tell what we're working on. Then we just play games. The rest of the meetings are completely on-demand where it's if you need to hold the meeting.

Tevi: [00:14:51] I'd like to unpack a little bit in more detail what Friday actually does. How does your product help people with async communication?

Luke: [00:15:00] Sure. So there are a few different components to the way I think about Friday. In a nutshell, what we're really trying to do is give you this context that you would really only learn through osmosis in an office. And so specifically there are a few different components, right? Because it's this all in one tool.

I hate to use that, but there are a few different pieces. So first, it resembles, looks, and feels like an intranet of sorts. That compliments workplace chat. We allow you to automate routine communication and updates. So if you do a daily standup, and you want to do it asynchronously, you can use Friday to do that.

If you do weekly updates or any type of regular communication, where you'd want to architect communication, Friday can help automate it. This was based on a personal pain point that I had at previous companies where we had this great idea where it's like, "Hey let's just share a weekly update in a work doc." So then we can show up to our meetings and we can reference a word document. And we can have better and richer conversations. What would happen every single time was some people would do it, some people wouldn't. You'd have to set a manual calendar reminder to fill the thing out. It was very clear that it wasn't automated enough.

Friday does this. We just try to offload as much of that as possible. That's one of the core components of the product. We are launching this feature set that resembles blog meets forum. So you can post, imagine, a proposal or a meeting note or maybe an idea, and then people can comment around it. Essentially like a forum.

So that's for the longer form discussions that you'd need to get out of Slack. Because sometimes you get those threads and they get so long. What Slack does is encourage quick-fire responses. Sometimes you actually need to be thoughtful here. So we're going to make it easy to port those conversations over so that you can have a more rich conversation.

Gitlab, for example, they extensively use their forum to resolve issues. They're known for their handbook, but if you look under the hood, they use their forum extensively. So that's another component, but then we also roll up this information and these insights to like people profiles. We make it easy to get to know your coworkers while you're filling out your daily standup.

If you want, you can answer icebreaker questions. You can send kudos to your team. You can share progress on your goals. You are able to capture all of this context that you're probably missing. We do it by helping you create these habits and these routines.

In a nutshell, it's like an intranet that people actually want to use. That's purpose-built for working remotely.

Scott: [00:17:42] That's awesome. So I think now it's the right time to dive into that.

I'm going to say, as we have this conversation, I know it's not going to be as radical as I had hoped. The post that you had on LinkedIn, on the blog, and on YouTube about one-on-one meetings should go totally async.

At first, I was like, wow, that sounds crazy. But now as we dig into it, realizing we're probably on the same page. You're offloading a lot of that updates and stuff like that versus the one-on-one relationship-building time. So give us a sense of what that idea is, please?

Luke: [00:18:18] Yeah, sure. So the basic idea is that you could probably eliminate 90% of your one-on-one meetings and be fine. So to lay a little bit of foundation here. The idea for one-on-ones actually came from this book, High Output Management. A really, amazing book written by Andy Grove.

What's really funny is that the one-on-one setting, he talks about in these books is very different than the one-on-one set that is defacto and standard practice for today. So what I hear and see more often than not, is that one-on-ones should be once a week. They should be between an employee and a manager. You should have an agenda. In some instances, it should be the employee gets 20 minutes and then the manager gets 10. Then there are all these different questions that you can ask as a manager to extract information.

What do you want to do in your career? Where would you like to be in the next three to six months? It's well-intentioned, but it's okay. Actually, a lot different than what was originally proposed. I'm not saying one method is better than the other. But in the book, Andy Grove essentially says, "Hey, the reason why I started one-on-ones is that I was feeling disconnected from people in other parts of the company. And I wanted to learn from them." So we would just hang out and it wasn't a once-a-week thing, they would schedule it. And every time they would do it, they would essentially say, "How often should we do this?" It was a constant reevaluation.

The second is that yes, they did still share agenda items or things that they wanted to talk about. But it just looked fundamentally different than what everyone preaches today. Here's my analysis of what has happened. One-on-ones are the employee's meeting. And so if you, as a leader, have ideas about how to tweak or change them, you might not be the good boss anymore, right? You don't want to mess around with the employee's meeting. As a result, you just follow best practice advice, and you let the employee dictate what they want because it is their meeting.

However, maybe it's like a power imbalance. Where the employee is like my boss wants me to have a one-on-one, so I'm going to do it. It creates this awkwardness where the employees may be not finding that much value, but the manager doesn't really want to cancel it because they don't want to look like the bad boss.

There's not enough iteration on this ritual because of this unspoken dynamic. I guess this is how I think about it. I guess I'm just here and figured out a different process. Maybe you should try it and see how it works.

So here's how the process works. So you don't necessarily even need to do this once a week. I find that once a week works pretty well. But essentially at the end of the week, we have a routine which is an automated sequence in Friday where I ask four questions. How did you feel about the week? They can respond using an emoji. And what's cool is that there's research that indicates that when people use emojis, the recipient on the other end processes those emojis in a nearly identical way that they process facial reactions in person. So what that means is that the emoji is a richer way of communicating. That in some instances, I'm not going to say it's like a perfect match, but it's like the equivalent of someone walking into your office with a frown on their face.

Part two is how productive do you think you were on a scale of 1 to 10. Some people they're an 8 out of 10 every week. Some people there are 7 out of 10 every week. That's fine. But what happens is if there's a deviation each person has their own scale. But when something isn't right, you'll notice there'll be this kind of steep drop.

The third is, I'm spacing out on the third. Oh, what was the best part of your week? And then the fourth, is there anything I can do to help? Or do you have any blockers? And is there anything I can do to help? The third allows me to understand what they really enjoy doing at work. The fourth gives me a tactical way of seeing if I can remove some things that are getting in their way.

We run this once a week and it's not required that you respond, but more often than not, I would say call it 60 to 70% of the company fills this out. It's only seen by me. At the end of the week, I just look through it, and if there's something that deserves a meeting I'll quickly respond.

I always leave an emoji response or something just to say, "Hey, I read this. Thank you." But if there's something that needs to be resolved I'll leave a comment. "Hey, let's chat about this on Monday." What happens is more often than not, things are fine. In some instances, you need to hold a meeting.

Then what happens is that you are getting essentially the same level of insight that you were previously getting, asking those probing questions for the first 15 to 20 minutes that are always really awkward. Why don't you just iterate and tweak some things? Long story short most of the time, things are fun. And so what we've seen across our customer base is that people tell us over and over again, "Hey, some of the most introverted people on our team are sharing some amazing updates, some amazing check-in responses. If I didn't know this, they may have left the company."

We also surveyed the user base and over 50% say that they give more honest feedback in this format than they do in person. That's not predictive, but what it does mean is that the one-on-one meeting, what it really boils down to is that there are different personalities. Some people if I ask you a point-blank question on the spot, you're probably gonna say something very different than if you were able to respond on your own time.

So we're just trying to create this different dynamic where you're getting a similar outcome I don't have to spend three-plus hours a week in meetings. If I had a one-on-one with everybody on my team, would have to probably spend a day in meetings. And it might be worth it, but it might not be. We have a lot of people that do this and find a lot of success with it, but your mileage may vary. Depends on the relationship between the employee and the manager. Just like one-on-ones.

Tevi: [00:24:49] That's an interesting perspective. You mentioned earlier that synchronous meetings live face-to-face meetings are good for relationship building and engaging people's live reactions and emotions. Async is, inherently disconnected and there's a possibility for people to be disconnected and disengaged in the company.

How do you make sure that you maintain that engagement in the team?

Luke: [00:25:16] The first thing I'd mentioned is that, if someone was disengaged it is not obvious to me that they would tell you in a meeting. What I can tell you, is that based on what we've seen is that if someone is disengaged or if something is not going well it's a heck of a lot easier to quickly say, " Sad emoji. I felt a 4 out of 10. This happened. I'm not feeling good." This happens. I wouldn't say all the time, because it doesn't, but there are some instances.

I'll give it an example. Someone on my team, his girlfriend's father died, and I found out about that through a weekly update or through the weekly check-in. What that did was gave me a lot more empathy about his work situation. And don't expect much from him for the next week. Maybe you would've told me in a meeting but I got it from a quick ping.

Once again, I'm not arguing against having in-person meetings. What I think though is that you can create this rich bedrock of context that can accelerate meetings. So the way I talk about it is just to have fewer better meetings. There's actually some really interesting research that backs this up too. I would need to find the study but there were some psychologists, I believe, that did research on teenagers. It was specifically on texting and how relationships evolved with texting. And what they found was that clearly if the people only communicate behind a screen, you run into these issues where people essentially paint a different picture of the person in their mind when they meet up in person.

What they found was that when using text, if it was accompanied by hanging out in person, it would accelerate the relationship building. Because they were doing some self-disclosure through the text format. And then when they met up in person, they were able to use that context to have and build that a better relationship.

So essentially what we're doing is a very similar dynamic. Where the text or the asynchronous communication provides this bedrock that you can then use as a jumping-off point. Once again, hanging out with my team. I like jumping on our team calls where we like play games and hang out.

My preference is, let's just do that. Let's do more of that. And let's do less of the things where you're trying to awkwardly mix work with getting to know people. Just get to know people. I dunno, like this doesn't seem controversial.

Tevi: [00:28:07] You're singing Scott's song right now.

Scott: [00:28:11] Yes, yes. You had me at the point, only about fun.

Luke: [00:28:16] Yeah. I dunno. I really like the meetings where we just do some quick brainstorming and where we're like, "Hey, what are you working on? Oh, cool. That project looks great. Let's play Quiplash or let's play scribble or let's play something else."

Everybody really likes it and it's fun. I just feel one-on-ones in its current format tend to be kinda cheesy and forced. So just figure out a different process and whatever you figure out, go for it. Talk to your team, have a feedback loop in place. One size does not fit all. My hope is to think about these principles that I'm bringing up. Interchange them for your own team for your own company. See what works and what doesn't and ditch the stuff that doesn't work.

Scott: [00:29:05] I'm totally on board with that. I want to play devil's advocate slightly here. If you're looking for an asynchronous format, how do you guarantee success from that meeting? Giving examples. If you had a team meeting and everyone was synchronous in the same room or zoom, and you're talking about a policy change or pricing change or feature change. You're digging into all those details and why you're doing it and all the things that are going to change. Questions are raised. Everything solves at the end. The same thing with a daily standup. I'm talking about my roadblocks now. I'm waiting for Luke to sign off on something. I'm waiting for Tevi to assign me a designer or a product manager.

When we're all talking in the same place, at the same time, can nail through and move through potential issues and roadblocks. When you're moving to an async format, how do you guarantee the success of those meetings?

Luke: [00:29:57] You don't. Here's how I think about that in particular. Let's use the example of the policy change meeting. You should probably hold that meeting. The reason why is because once again synchronous is best for converging around shared meaning versus conveying information.

What I would encourage someone to do is share the policy changed doc beforehand. Have people review it on their own. Then hold the meeting where you are able to have a really targeted discussion where people have had time to look at the thing. You're conveying the information before the meeting. You're converging around the shared meaning in the meeting.

What you're doing is you're saying, "Okay before this would have been let's say an hour-long meeting where 25 minutes would have been spent conveying or sharing the information and the policy. How about let's trim that down and let's ramp up the amount of time where we have the questions in the rich discussion around it."

With the daily standup. I personally feel like that's a little bit of a different scenario and here's why. So if you think about the daily up, they tend to revolve around three questions. Yesterday I did this. Today I'm working on this. Here are the blockers. Once again, your mileage may vary and each team is different. But if you think about those first two questions, those are purely information sharing. Yesterday I worked on this. Okay, that's low ambiguity. Like pretty straightforward.

You did this, link to the ticket. Like to the card, right? Today I'm working on this. Okay, same story. Then what happens is you get in these scenarios where more often than not, at least from my personal experience, one person out of the five or one person out of the eight people has a blocker, right?

Ideally, you don't want any blockers. You want everybody to be able to run it through on pace. But in the example of a blocker, complete the daily standup asynchronously. And if you have blockers quickly jump into the meeting with the relevant parties.

If you think about the time cost of a daily standup, I did the math once. I think it's like for a team of five or seven let's say they're paid like six figures each. That's five grand a month. It also requires that everybody drop what they're doing.

If there is a blocker, it only involves two or three people out of the team. So my view is if you have a blocker or if there is ambiguity around something like a policy change, hold the meeting. But you can still accelerate those meetings by sharing the information beforehand. Because some part of it that is conveying information. There's another part that is converging around that meaning and establishing that common ground. That happens quickest when you can quickly go back and forth.

Scott: [00:32:47] That makes perfect sense. The last question I have is if a leader listens to this podcast episode and is totally transformed and saying, yes we need to do this. We need to change the format, go all-in on the one-on-one in async format. Can you share maybe a few tips, a couple of things that they can do maybe to test the water first?

I guess the first question is, should they go all in or test the water first? If it's a good option, maybe a few ideas of how to test the water first.

Luke: [00:33:17] Yeah. So if someone wants to test the waters, you could use a Google doc or Notion or something. But essentially do a few things. So if you're already collecting agenda items, just change from an agenda format to a question format.

So instead of just put your agenda items here, what that's doing is it's punting the conversation. Now I can add a little bit of structure to my meeting. Great. But what you could do is if you framed it as a question, people respond to more in we'll call it prose. What happens is now you're actually getting some information here that I can trim down the time you spent getting up to speed.

So reframe the agenda to a series of questions. If you can create more structured questions for the responses. So for example, instead of asking people how they feel and then they type, good. Just create a range of options, like a one to five scale maybe.

What that will do is it helps quickly tease out a response versus forcing them to what am I going to say? You got to make it really easy to reduce the friction I would strongly encourage you to really think about how can I automate some of this to drive up the predictability? If you want use Zapier, your Google calendar, and calendar reminders. Just do everything you can to offload as much of the process to machines, instead of relying on yourself as a busy leader, remember to do this because you're not going to do it. Then the process will break down. Clearly, if you want to use Friday, we'd love it. And we welcome any feedback. But You could probably do some of this in some other type of program. Maybe even like a Woofu form or Survey Monkey or something.

Scott: [00:35:02] Awesome. Luke, thank you so much for sharing or the insights and the tips, and feedback. For sure I'm going all-in on the async on one-on-one meetings going forward with my team. I'm totally sold, but I think it was probably sold already beforehand to the death of meetings. We'll include all the information including the book, social media profiles the not-so-controversial YouTube video, and blog posts in the show notes. Until the next episode, have a great day everybody.