Conducting Effective One-on-Ones

One of the fundamentals of effective leadership is being able to identify and create frequent and open communication forums with their employees. The general wisdom is that managers can best accomplish this by holding regular one-on-one meetings with direct reports. This simple sounding activity is often the most overlooked aspect in managers job and employees fret about it being either ineffective or worse not happening at all.

Keeping a track of your one-on-ones by following these simple rules can make them more productive and useful for both the manager as well as the employee.

    1. Regular – make it weekly or fortnightly, don’t miss it
    2. Focus – Focus should be on the team member, let him/her do the most of the talking.
    3. Make notes and follow up – Create a tracking form to capture updates
    4. Have one-on-one with each direct report
    5. Be prepared for the meeting
  2. WHERE
    1. Not in Public
    2. Office cubicle/ cabin with closed doors
    3. Any neutral space
    1. Ideally 30 mins – this can differ according to the employee needs
    2. Structure these 30 mins – 10 min for him/her, 10 min for manager/ 10 min for wrap up/ action plan/last meeting review
    1. How has been your week like?
    2. Family/ Weekend/ Hobbies
    3. Project/ Initiatives you are working on
    4. What challenges were faced?
    5. On track to meet deadlines?
    6. Any suggestions for improvement?
    7. Any questions about the project?
    8. Where can I help?
    9. What are your thoughts on changes suggested by me?
    10. How are you going to approach this challenge?
    11. How can we do this better?
    12. What are your future goals for this area?
    13. What is your plan to get their?
    14. What do you plan to do differently next time?
    15. What have you learned from this project?
    1. Eye Contact – Pay undivided attention to your employee
    2. Open/ relaxed posture, no crossing arms, legs
    3. Evaluate employee’s body language – the success of the one-on-one can be evaluated by watching the employees energy, enthusiasm and motivation at the end of the session.