Quick Tips From Loommates: Enhance One-On-Ones With Asynchronous Video Updates

Prema Nagarajan

“Quick Tips From Loommates” is a series of short posts from our team showcasing how we use Loom at work.

There’s often not enough time during one-on-ones to talk about everything in detail and receive thoughtful feedback. That’s why I like to send my manager an asynchronous video message via Loom before our one-on-one meetings, with details for review and response. 

Sending a video message before your regular one-on-ones is a great way to keep your manager informed, set clear expectations, highlight where you need their input, and give them enough time to provide a more thoughtful response. 

In this video message, I’m walking my manager through the project portfolio management dashboard for more thoughtful feedback when we meet one-on-one.

In addition to eliciting more thoughtful responses to your work, these asynchronous video updates also create room for you and your manager to talk in real time about how you’re feeling, what your long-term career aspirations are, and other more in-depth subjects, versus simply reviewing details of what you accomplished since the last time you spoke. (Loom moved to asynchronous all-hands meetings for the same reasons — they allow us to prioritize synchronous time together for building relationships, aligning on expectations and collaborating.)

“1:1s are quiet, focused collaboration time for employees and bosses to connect.”
— Russ Laraway, “How to Have Effective 1:1s,” Radical Candor

Recording and sharing a Loom video often works better for sharing detailed work updates than email does, because:

  • You can communicate more clearly, by showing your work at the same time as you talk through it all.

  • In many cases, it’s much faster to simply talk through what you’re working on, versus typing it all out.

  • It’s easier for your manager to see the whole picture all at once, versus reading an email, following up via links, and trying to picture how everything is connected in their head.

  • It’s more personal to hear and see someone talk than it is to read a block of text — and one-on-ones are all about establishing personal connections.

One-on-ones shouldn’t be replaced by asynchronous video communication — they’re too important! Their usefulness, however, can be maximized when you get detailed work updates out of the way beforehand, and spend your valuable time together on the topics that matter most.

Further reading

How to Make Your One-on-Ones with Employees More Productive — HBR

How to make 1:1 meetings time well spent — Small Improvements

Effective 1:1s - Tips For One-on-One Meetings With Your Team — Radical Candor

7 tips for better 1-on-1 meetings — Atlassian

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Written by Prema Nagarajan

Prema has led technology initiatives in application, infrastructure and product domains for more than 20 years. She focuses on championing strategic alignment, governance, execution excellence, change management, cross-functional alignment, process mapping and product operations.

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