How to Run Successful One-to-One Meetings

If you run one-to-one meetings, it might be disheartening to know that around half of one-to-one meetings fail.

Here’s some tips for running better one-to-one meetings:

How often should you have one-on-one meetings?

  • The frequency of one-on-one meetings varies, but weekly or bi-weekly meetings are common.
  • The ideal scenario is to find a consistent time that works for both parties.

What’s the purpose of one-on-one meetings?

  • One-on-one meetings serve various purposes, including building relationships, setting goals, exchanging feedback, and addressing challenges.
  • They provide a dedicated time for meaningful conversations and connection.

Benefits of one-on-one meetings

  • Team alignment: One-on-ones help managers keep track of team progress and ensure everyone is focused on what matters.
  • Employee engagement: Regular meetings drive employees’ sense of purpose and motivation.
  • Employee productivity: Clear action items from one-on-ones help employees stay on track and prioritize tasks.
  • Clear roles and responsibilities: One-on-ones promote clarity and accountability.
  • Constructive feedback exchanges: Frequent communication enables real-time feedback and growth.
  • Ongoing professional development: Discussing performance regularly facilitates employee development.

Tips for a great first one-on-one

  • Break the ice and get to know each other.
  • Discuss professional goals and how they align with the team’s context.
  • Set the tone for future meetings and establish open communication.
  • Decide on the frequency and structure of future one-on-ones.

Leading effective one-on-one meetings

  • Stick to the agenda but allow for impromptu discussions.
  • Take meeting notes and track progress.
  • Share feedback and set clear next steps.
  • Send a recap of takeaways and action items after the meeting.

One-on-one meeting tips

  • Make them a priority and avoid rescheduling or cancelling last minute.
  • Let the employee talk and take on a listening role.
  • Focus on the individual employee experience rather than status reports.
  • Give honest feedback and take meeting notes.

Performance reviews during one-on-one meetings

  • Performance reviews can be done during one-on-one meetings or as separate meetings.
  • Hold more frequent performance reviews every 3-6 months to stay on the same page.
  • Give advance notice, plan and prepare, discuss accomplishments, and address performance issues.

[Read more about running one-to-one meetings.]

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