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Three Things You Should Talk About in Your 1:1s

If you’re a people manager you are likely having one on one meetings with each of your team members (and if you’re not, you should be). Many new managers ask me what they should be talking about in their 1:1 meetings. While I discourage imposing too much structure there are three things I think need to be discussed in every one on one meeting:

  1. What were your biggest achievements since our last meeting? This question lets you know, and better equips you to share, the awesome accomplishments of your team and provide appropriate praise.

  2. What’s in your way? One of my primary goals as a manager is helping to remove obstacles. When we discuss stuckpoints I can do one of three things: give advice or provide coaching, coordinate a connection or meeting with the right team or person, or act when my team member needs assistance.

  3. What would you like to discuss? The one on one is about your team member, not you. For this purpose, giving free range on topics lets the person privately discuss what they feel is pressing, and most importantly gives us the opportunity to build our relationship in an authentic way. On my teams, team members usually choose to discuss professional development, growth strategy, and program improvement ideas, but frequently they want to share or seek counsel for more personal topics which may impact their work lives such as family health issues or being a working parent.

Is there a must have you include in your one on ones that isn't listed here? We've love to hear about it in the comments!

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