How to Have a Productive One-on-One Meeting

One-on-one meetings offer a good platform to learn more about your job, manager’s expectations and career advancement opportunities. Come prepared, be proactive and ask questions what you want to know. Here are some useful tips on how you can have a productive one-on-one meeting with your manager.

What is a one-on-one meeting?

productive one-on-one meeting

A one-on-one meeting is a preplanned gathering between you and your supervisor. These meetings are usually held at regular intervals and discuss various topics in addition to performance and operational matters. There are some factors to consider in a one-on-one meeting, including the following:

  • Objective: One-on-one meetings have a distinct objective and structure. For example, a one-on-one meeting for a salesperson may focus on helping them reach their full potential by scheduling regular check-ins and coaching sessions.
  • Frequency: The frequency of one-on-one meetings may vary depending on your organization and role. You may have yours every couple of weeks or once every month. You may also consider talking to your manager if you believe you need more or fewer meetings.
  • Meeting length: Many one-on-one meetings tend to last around 30 minutes to allow for quick check-ins and questions from either you or your supervisor. However, you can request to hold a longer meeting if needed.

What do managers expect from one-on-one meetings?

Having a basic understanding of what managers expect from one-on-one meetings help you make the most of these meetings. Generally, your manager would like to achieve the following objectives through a one-on-one meeting:

  • Determine your level of morale, stress, motivation, workload, etc.
  • Determine to what extent your performance and development goals have been achieved.
  • Find out whether you are facing any obstacles in the way of achieving your goals.
  • Discuss any specific issues you may have or your manager may have.
  • Provide feedback on your work.
  • Provide coaching to excel in your work.
  • Share any important information (formal or informal) about the organization or the department.

Tips for a productive one-on-one meeting with your manager

Here are some tips to help you get the most from a one-on-one meeting with your team leader or supervisor:

  • View every meeting as an opportunity. The first requirement toward gain something out of one-on-one meetings is to have the right mindset. View these meetings as opportunities for career development and advancement. Make an effort to understand your manager, identify the challenges in your role and plan your career growth.
  • Share what motivates you the most. Your manager will likely appreciate learning what motivates you at work. Share with them what you love most about your work or company, any projects that you especially enjoyed or any specific factor that’s been motivating you to put in extra effort.
  • Explain any challenges you want to try. Let your manager know if you want to take on new challenges within or outside your role. Explain the skills you wish to develop and areas you would like to improve. Seek advice on courses and training opportunities that would be helpful in your professional development.
  • Express your concerns. If you’re experiencing any concerns in your position or organization, a one-on-one meeting is a good chance to discuss them. Bringing any issues to your manager’s attention will help you figure out productive solutions for them.
  • Ask for feedback. Ask managers for feedback on specific skills and areas they think you could improve. You can also seek advice on how to make improvements. Make the environment comfortable for your managers to share constructive feedback. Let them know that you are actively looking for ways to improve.
  • Celebrate success. Be sure to share at least one success story with your manager, which will help push your meeting in a positive direction. It will also show how much you value success in your professional life.
  • Offer ideas and suggestions. Demonstrate your problem-solving skills by offering ideas for specific issues, and ask your manager for their opinion. This can help you address issues your team has been facing at work, and it will help you show your manager that you’re dedicated to your job.