My new leadership book SHE Rises is available!

The BEST Manager Syncs

Enjoyed this article?  Please consider sharing it below.


Raise your hand if performance reviews make you sweat.

If you’re like most of my clients, your hand went straight up and I know why.

All too often, they’re tough, uncomfortable conversations where both parties are trying to swallow the tough pill of feedback while not wanting to rock the boat or come across too needy, too picky, or too keen. Both sides are walking a thin, fragile line and we all exhale when they’re over.

The thing that makes them a lot tougher?

Wasted 1-1 check-ins.

Our more frequent and often in-passing chats get consumed with small talk and day-to-day putting-out-fires stuff when they could be utilized, at least partially, for development and smaller doses of feedback.

If we did that, performance reviews wouldn’t feel as surprising or tense because, in theory, we’ve already been touching on them on a more regular basis.

So how do you make your check-ins more useful?

Three easy steps:

  1. Make sure you’re having them. If they aren’t happening once a week or once every two weeks – make that happen.
  2. Make them more efficient. Most of my clients typically use them to work through whatever’s most urgent, not what’s most important.
  3. Make them more intentional by coming into them with:


  • My top priority this week is ______.
  • My biggest accomplishment this week is ______.
  • What I need your input, support or help on is ______.


These shifts can ensure you’re both aligning priorities, consistently celebrating wins, and identifying important issues. This will improve your work product and therefore indirectly answer the questions, “How am I doing?” and “Am I meeting expectations?” while also making it super natural to address concerns like, “Are there better ways we could be working together?”

Set yourself up by taking charge with a proactive process and see if those manager syncs flip into becoming one of your favorite meetings.

I’d love to hear from you. For the managers out there and their direct reports: what do you find most helpful about your 1-1 syncs? What is ONE thing you would change if you could?

Pooja Dang is a Women’s Executive Leadership Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving clients globally at companies such as Google, GoPro, Dropbox, and more. With over 15 years of experience in coaching, advising, and propelling women towards rapid career advancement and promotion, she specializes in high-impact workshops and dynamic 1:1 coaching, delivering breakthrough outcomes and accelerated change. Pooja has a proven track record of coaching women into the C-suite and is a trusted expert in growing executive presence, expanding influence, high-stakes negotiations, and leadership development. Using proven scientific strategies, transformative behavior tools, and a no-BS approach, Pooja is on a mission to empower more women to live confidently at the top of their game. Book your free consultation today. #ExecutiveCoach #LeadershipDevelopment #WomenInLeadership #BehaviorChange #CsuiteCoaching


Get actionable executive coaching insights to help you level up your career delivered right to your inbox.