What is the Balance Framework?

The Balance Framework is an approach to one-on-one meetings that focuses on managers and their direct reports having equal conversations across four key areas:



What projects would you like to work on or be more involved in?



When is the best time to give feedback on your work?



What could make your day-to-day easier?



What’s something you’re proud of that happened this week? This month?

How can I use the Balance Framework?

The Balance Framework is a guideline for your one-on-one conversations. You can find it built into meeting tools like Hypercontext. When you have a look at your meeting agenda, take a mental note of whether or not you’re covering all four areas. If the agenda lacks motivation-focused conversations, for example, add in one or two items to better balance the meeting.

Let’s walk through what each area means:


These conversations revolve around your direct report’s personal and professional growth and development, from sharing a continuous stream of constructive feedback to coaching opportunities. Growth conversations make your direct reports feel more supported and cared for, and as a result, they’ll be more emotionally attached to their work and workplace.


Conversations focused on how you and your direct report can fine-tune how you communicate with one another. Communication topics revolve around how you’re sharing information, like feedback, tools, general language, and so much more.


When it comes to one-on-one meetings, status updates should always be left in the parking lot 🚘. Instead of focusing on the nitty-gritty of work, focus on things like:

  • Roadblocks (and how to eliminate them)
  • Improving processes
  • Discussing strategy.


As a leader, it’s always better to be proactive rather than reactive. One of the best ways to do this is through motivation-focused conversations; This will ensure that you’re consistently talking about how your direct report is feeling about work.

As you build trust with your direct report and learn more about them, you’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of what gets them excited (and what frustrates them). With that knowledge, you’ll be able to better engage them at work.

Additional resources for the Balance Framework

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