If you are a manager, you already know the importance of one on one meetings. The devil is in the details! And having a good actionable meeting template is an important part of your toolkit.
Features of a good 1 on 1 meeting template
The template should be about daily tasks
Way too many 1 on 1 meetings get wasted because both the parties start discussing tasks for the day, specific projects and brainstorm business ideas. Those things are great, but this is not the place for it. And that is why I always recommend to not have any section in your template for such tasks. Keep that in your project management tool please!
Have a balanced agenda
You should ideally split the half hour meeting into the following topics:
- Catching up / following up one action items - Use this to close the loop on any pending tasks that you or the team member have. If you have been documenting the minutes of the meeting well, this should not be a problem!
- Employee focused topics - e.g. their career development, morale, blockers at work and more! This is their meeting after all.
- Setup next steps - quickly summarise the meeting and if any important insights have come out of it!
- Feedback on each other - what does greatness look like? Do you have any feedback on
Have a good list of one on one meeting questions in your template
Having a good and exhaustive set of questions within your template will ensure that you always have great conversations! Otherwise such formal meetings have a tendency to fall apart because both the parties are awkward and not asking the right things. Read about more such common mistakes here.
Ensure that your 1 on 1 meeting structure accounts for this! Choose relevant topics from your library of questions and ask them during the meeting to your reportee.
- Direct reportee vs skip level
- Remote vs face to face
- Learning & career development questions
- Morale & health questions
- Team culture
- Feedback on yourself as a leader
Some popular one on one meeting questions
- Did I give you actionable feedback in the last 2 months?
- Do you think our team meetings are productive? How can we make them better?
- Which team project which are you worried about? What #1 work is not moving fast enough..
- What is #1 thing we did really well as a team in past 3 months?
- Do you think you are growing in your role? If not, what's missing?
- What is the most exciting thing about work for you these days?
- Are your personal goals aligned with team goals? What is #1 place where I can help?
Read more 1 on 1 meeting questions here.
A good one on one meeting template is actionable
You should be able to note down action items of a meeting, and also resolve the ones that are pending from the last time. After all, there is no reason to continue doing such meetings if all they lead to are empty gestures. As a leader, it is critically important that you show progress to build trust. And maintaining a list of items that were completed across the quarters can be a great way to have end of the year performance review questions.
If you are short on time to prepare for your upcoming 1 on 1s; you can use this section to quickly glance through agenda items that need your attention.