Complete Guide about 1:1 Meetings


Remote work or Hybrid work environment has increased on the need for 1:1 meetings between managers and their team members. 1:1 meetings focus is on building trust between managers and subordinates. 1:1 meetings create greater employee self-esteem, motivation with higher productivity, and better retention rates.

A 1:1 meetings also creates a coaching opportunity where managers can provide feedback that helps individuals improve themselves over time through focused coaching sessions that do not disrupt ongoing business activities.

What is a 1:1 meeting?

The 1:1 meeting is a powerful tool for managers and employees to work together. It is an opportunity, using free-form discussion where participants can share thoughts on anything from personal issues to company updates outside of status reports or other typical formats. Trust can grow within one another’s roles while providing constructive criticism when needed.

Managers and their employees can meet one-on one to get feedback, highlights of projects they have been working on, or if there are any issues. Similarly, managers may also talk directly with their peers who report through them for strategic planning discussions about future goals & objectives. Everyone can stay aligned together towards shared ambitions.


Importance of 1:1 Meetings

1:1 meetings strengthen relationships and encourage frequent check-ins between managers and their team members. They also help build a transparent atmosphere in which everyone can feel comfortable discussing goals, engagement levels, professional development opportunities, etc.

Good managers create a safe environment for people to work in new and collaborative ways by investing time into 1:1 conversations which in turn helps develop trust while building relationships between teams.

In a 1:1 meeting, managers get to coach their employees how they would like to do something. Managers can improve their coaching skills and learn what works best with different people' personalities.

Benefits of 1:1 Meetings



1:1 meetings help employees get feedback and guidance from managers, which allows for more growth opportunities within the company. When managers create this environment, it becomes a partnership between two people who care deeply about seeing each other succeed.

According to research, 2/3rds of the employees stayed with managers who are partners


1:1 meetings provide foundation for manager to build relationships that are a fundamental part of their success. Regular 1:1 conversations create a trusting, nurturing environment where the team members feel safe to share ideas and ambitions without fear. 1:1 conversations enable deeper understanding. 1:1 meetings are critical when employees need guidance or feedback regarding performance at work.

A study shows that managers who provide weekly feedback have motivated and engaged teams looking to deliver their best.


With a commitment to inclusiveness and transparency, regular 1:1 meeting is essential for increasing employee engagement. There is also a clear evidence of increased retention rates, with productivity following suit.

Tips for 1:1 Meetings

Having the right mindset

The meeting is a chance to have an open and honest conversation. It can be tough at first. However, as long as you focus on the needs of your employees while still listening carefully, the discussion will go better than expected. It does not matter what subject comes up. 1:1 meetings are an excellent way to build relationships with your employees. They will give you insights that would otherwise go unnoticed and provide them opportunities for coaching.

Deciding how often you want to meet

It is not uncommon to wonder how often you should have 1:1 meetings with your team members? You may think of a monthly or fortnightly option. It is always best to meet once every week for half an hour to one hour. When you have a tight-knit team, weekly 1:1 meetings are the best way to stay in touch.

Setting yourself up for the meeting

Preparing yourself is the best way to ensure you have set yourself up for anything required for the successful execution of the meeting. To ready yourself, think about what topics might come up and how much time each person has available. Also, share the agenda beforehand and ask the team member to add new items or suggest changes.

Creating a structure for the meeting

When you begin the meeting, ask your employee how they are doing professionally and personally. It will help you understand if anything is pulling them back from delivering their best. Giving your employees a voice and letting them lead the conversation allows you to build relationships. The best part is, it gives them an outlet for what they want or need without feeling alone in their struggles. You can then pitch in and connect their thoughts with the bigger picture.

Preparing the talking points

It is always best to let your team members do most of the talking and drive the discussion. Here are some conversation starters for you that you can ask as questions.

  • What are your biggest challenges, and how can I help you overcome them?
  • How does your productivity get boosted and impacted during the day? What are the driving factors?
  • What activity or person inspires you the most at the workplace?
  • What work do you like to do the most? How can we help you capitalize on that?
  • What ideas do you have to make yourself and the team perform even better?
  • Taking notes during the meeting

    One of the best ways to ensure a successful meeting is by summarizing key points and sharing them with others. It ensures there will not be any misunderstandings and helps follow up on what you discussed in depth during or after meetings. In addition, you can take notes from your 1:1s for future reference so that they are always available when needed.

    Ending the meeting with an open-ended question

    Asking an open-ended question like, “what else do you want to discuss?” can be effective. It gives your team members the chance to share anything that they have on their minds. Furthermore, it helps you create a culture of open communication where people do not hesitate to express their opinion.

    Avoid skipping the meeting

    Have you ever had something come up and felt terrible about it? It can be frustrating to cancel a meeting without any prior notice. However, keep in mind that this will not give a good impression about you in front of your employees. If there are times where cancellations happen, try rescheduling the meeting within the same week if possible so that feelings are not hurt too much by these unexpected events.

    Keeping it flexible

    To maximize learning and development, you should encourage direct reports to share what they would like to discuss. Topics might include current goals and recognition from past performance reviews or feedback about future plans. These meetings should remain flexible and have a collaborative approach.

    Remote 1:1 Meetings

    It is essential to keep in mind that if the employee is working remotely, 1:1s become even more critical. You will want topics concerning how they feel about being away from an office and what type of support they might need. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind.


    Be a good listener

    Listening is a vital part of managing, especially when you are in 1:1 conversations. Listen carefully and note how your team members feel about their role and growth within the company. When managers show recognition by respecting their direct reports opinions and following up afterward, it builds stronger relationships between all parties involved.


    Make the conversation personal

    Sharing personal anecdotes and experiences is an interesting way to share some guidance, inspiration, and support for your direct report. Personal sharing provides guidance and inspiration for other individuals on what they should do next - just as you might want a colleague' help with your problems. It also helps people open up by making them more comfortable talking about issues that keep them away from success.


    Have an open mind

    Setting the example is critical for managers. It is essential to show that you are open and willing to receive feedback on your performance. After running 1:1s and conducting a leadership review, you might consider incorporating these answers into your performance reviews. It is essential to know what team members think about you as this will help you identify areas of improvement.

    1:1 Meeting Templates


    First 1:1 meeting

  • How are you doing? How is the experience been so far?
  • What describes the best about you and what made you take up this job?
  • What support do you expect from me to execute your job successfully?
  • What is the driving factor and motivation behind this job?
  • What hampers your productivity at the workplace?
  • What do you wish to achieve through this job in the next six months?
  • Talk about the team culture and how it works.
  • Ask an open-ended question to see if they would like to add anything else.
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    Regular 1:1 Meetings

  • How are you doing? How is your work in the past week and month?
  • What did you accomplish recently that you would like to talk about?
  • Are there any work issues? If yes, how can I support you?
  • Ask an open-ended question to see if they would like to add anything else.
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    OKR Setup Meeting

  • How are you doing? How is your work in the past week and month?
  • How did you perform with the previous goals?
  • Let us again look at the importance of objectives.
  • Let us look at the organizational and team objectives.
  • Let us look at your individual goals and tie them up with the team and organizational objectives.
  • Let us create a roadmap for the next steps and finalize that.
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    Meetings for Performance Review Debrief

  • How was the performance review, and how do you feel now?
  • How was the feedback? Do you want any clarifications?
  • Did anything shock or surprise you?
  • What are your takeaways from the review?
  • Is there a way the review would have gone better?
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    Meetings for Career Conversations

  • How are you doing? How is your work in the past week and month?
  • How did you implement the feedback recently, and where do you want to develop further?
  • What steps do you wish to take to achieve your objectives?
  • What is the best part about your job?
  • What part of the job do you dislike?
  • What do you want to achieve in the next one year?
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    Meetings for Performance Improvement

  • How are you doing? How is your work in the past week and month?
  • What problems are you facing to do your job successfully?
  • Are you aware of the expectations and if they are realistic for you?
  • Do you understand how your performance will impact the team and organizational objectives?
  • Is the feedback you receive enough? Are there any areas of improvement here?
  • Is there any hesitancy to ask for the necessary support you require?
  • What factors caused your performance to decline?
  • What objectives do you wish to pan to improve your performance?
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