1:1 Meetings - Manager's preparation

For effective 1:1 meetings, managers need to make certain preparations as it takes time and practice to become adept at orchestrating a good 1:1 meeting.

Good managers have the below techniques in their muscle memory on how to coach employees effectively using the 1:1 meetings.

  1. Listening mode - 1:1 meetings present an excellent opportunity to know about an employee. Hence, managers should make listening as their second nature during such meetings.
  2. Previous meeting notes - Before attending a 1:1 with the team member, a manager should quickly check what was discussed in the previous meeting by referring to the notes captured.
  3. Recent work items - Managers tend to waste a lot of time by asking employees on what they have been working. Before attending 1:1 meeting a manager should quickly make a mental note of the tasks that the employee has been working on.
  4. Shared agenda - An effective 1:1 meeting is the one where employees drive the agenda. Managers, when setting up a 1:1 meeting, should invite the employee to add the topics that he or she wants to discuss.
  5. Career goals - If the 1:1 meetings are held less frequently, it is always a good practice to discuss how the employee is progressing towards his or her career goals. A focus on long term objectives make day-to-day problems look easily manageable.
  6. Personal interests - Last but not the least, in order to build effective teams, a manager must develop personal rapport with the team members. A genuine interest in the personal progress of an employee is an effective tool to build the trust. Managers can simply an opening question like "how have you been past few days?' etc.
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