The Art of The 1:1 Meeting

Leaders, listen up! If you aren’t having 1:1 (or one on one) meetings you may be missing a massive piece to the influence puzzle. Whether you are a CEO or a production manager, managing a team means managing a group of individuals. How you interact with individuals will, in time, help create healthy or unhealthy culture.

Why are One on One’s Important?

  • One on one meetings create a confidential space to discuss professional and personal matters. The more you understand the better an experience you can create.  
  • Even if world hunger is not solved in your 30 minuets together, giving your time, makes people feel prioritized.  
  • They eliminate ambivalence and build trust.  
  • It provides a routine for constructive criticism, without singling anyone out. If all members expect a meeting with the big boss once a month, issues can be addressed routinely, privately, and in a valuable fashion rather than a reprimanding one.  

Nailing The Details

  • Set expectations. Let all members of your team know the intention behind your one on ones. They are not in place to micromanage, but in place to develop a healthy, working relationship. 
  • Communicate to the team collectively why the meetings are important to you as their leader.  
  • Choose a cadence. One a week, once a month, up to you.  
  • Choose a method. Take a walk, make a coffee run together, meet in a neutral space such as a conference room, adapt to the employee and create a comfortable, yet professional environment.  
  • Don’t control the conversation. This is a time for both parties to speak. 

Agenda Tips

  • Every productive meeting needs an agenda.  
  • Topics of discussion should center around both professional and personal growth, while providing each other feedback.  
  • Ask your employee what they would like to discuss. 
  • Send the agenda prior to the meeting, and provide any material needed from the employee in preparation.  
  • Recap each meeting with an email, and keep notes to revisit topics discussed in previous one on ones. This helps quantify improvement. 
  • Need some inspiration? Check out this step by step One on One Meeting Agenda Template by Asana.

Final Friendly Reminders

At the end of the day, this is an investment. It may seem mundane, and it will take valuable time. However, in the long run investing in your employees conversationally, is investing in the overall production and efficiency of your team. Create a safe space to connect with your employees, don’t control the conversation, include positive and negative critiques, and watch the influence you have over your team increase exponentially.