How to Conduct Effective One-on-Ones

‘One-on-ones’ are scheduled regular meetings managers have with individual team members.

The goal is to check in, assess how things are going, and address any specific needs or career advancement opportunities.

These meetings last roughly 30 minutes on average.

Here are a couple of manager tips for the meeting:

  • Encourage new hires to participate actively in the conversation. Request that they arrive with questions or conversation ideas in mind.
  • Ask probing questions to elicit feedback or gain a better grasp of a direct report’s issues, objectives, and preferences.
  • Stick to a straightforward meeting format. Begin with their talking points, then add a couple of your own, and conclude with action items.

Managers and team members benefit from thoughtful one-on-ones because they foster trust, communication, and regular feedback. They can be used to set expectations, identify and resolve issues, and find new ways to energise and engage your team.

Keep project updates to a maximum of five minutes during your meeting. While discussing where an employee stands on a project or job is a simple topic to broach, it’s not the most productive way to spend your one-on-one time together. Keep the update to five minutes and then go on to more employee-specific topics.

The key takeaways

‘One-on-ones’ are regular manager scheduled meetings with individual team members.

The goal is to assess how things are going, and address any specific needs or career advancement opportunities.

These regular catch-ups can be used to set expectations, identify and resolve issues, and find new ways to energise and engage your team.

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