How to Execute a Successful One on One Meeting

Regular, focused meetings are the key to long-term success and excellent working relationships. One-on-one meetings can quickly turn into a timesuck if you don’t approach them correctly. Execution is everything, whether you are a new manager or someone with more management experience. Here are five tips that will help you execute a successful one-on-one. 

1) Set Up A Regular One-On-One Meeting

The purpose of a one-on-one meeting is to touch base with the employees you manage and make sure they have all the resources they need to do their job. If you don’t check in regularly, it’ll be easy to miss your employees’ small details and frustrations. You should strive to hold weekly one-on-one meetings. If you are taking time off, try to reschedule the sessions you’ll miss. If you can’t do that, try to make the next one. You shouldn’t try to miss too many one-on-ones in a row.

2) Keep One-On-Ones Simple At 15-30 Minutes Long

One-on-ones are meant to be quick check-ins with your team. You shouldn’t try to stretch these meetings into 45-60 minutes. Keep these meetings simple and adhere to a strict time. Thirty minutes is enough to see what’s happening and even do some planning and execution with your team member.

Be Respectful Of Your Time And Their Time

Time is a commodity that’s hard to come by. Your employees are likely having a hard time finding focused time, and you’re probably struggling with that too. Don’t make it hard for you or your employees. Be respectful of time and ensure meetings start and end on time to the best of your ability.

3) Come To Each Meeting With An Agenda Or List Of Topics You Want To Cover

Before you step into a one-on-one, think about some of the things you want to talk about. Write those topics down on a sticky note or a document on your computer, so you remember what you want to discuss.

Here are some potential agenda items:

 Check-in on how they feel about their current assignments and workload.

 Assign a new task and explain it to them.

 Give feedback on a recent assignment.

 See how they are progressing on their quarterly or yearly goals.

 Build out a plan to tackle a new work project.

You could cover any number of topics during the one-on-one. When tackling issues, ensure that you are on the same page with your employee. What do they need from you?

4) Table Topics That Can’t Be Covered In One Meeting

If you find that you or your employees are stuck on a topic: table it. Create a separate meeting solely dedicated to the topic that is stumping you. You don’t want your entire one-on-one to be devoted to a conversation that won’t get resolved. If you see the conversation getting out of hand, wrap up the conversation, and find a better time to have an in-depth discussion.

5) Get A Clear Understanding Of Homework And Next Steps

At the end of your one-on-one conversation, you and your employees will likely have some homework or next steps. Ensure that everyone is aware of what they need to do and what they need to bring to the next meeting. Once everyone knows what they need to do to prepare for the next meeting, you can end the conversation and get excited about the next one-on-one.

Conclusion: Stay Connected With Your Team

One-on-one meetings are an integral part of a communicative and engaged organization. One-on-one meetings are time consumptive for managers, but they can be valuable assets by helping you stay connected and involved with your team. By setting aside a bit of time each week, you’ll walk away with a much better knowledge of what your team needs from you as a manager.

Your Guide to Building a Thriving Culture