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A guide to the perfect 1-to-1 meeting

Can we postpone our 1-to-1 until next week? – I am just too busy today …..

Is that familiar? How does that sound and what does that mean to your team member? Are they relieved? Possibly. Are they disappointed? Almost certainly, even if they don’t show it.

A structured approach to 1-to-1’s with key employees can pay dividends. I have encountered two recent instances where clients have benefited from conducting their periodic 1-to-1 sessions with team members in a more structured way. And furthermore, they have passed the responsibility for the preparation for the meeting to the team member - practicing the art of delegation while providing both empowerment and accountability. At the end of each meeting objectives for the following period are proposed by the team member and informally agreed by both parties

This approach has been inspired by The Alternative Board (or TAB as it is known) and the simple technique is in general use and has been hiding in plain sight!

Guide to the perfect 1-to-1

In advance of our monthly TAB boards, each business owner member completes a 2-page document and it is the first page that has provided the inspiration for the 1-to-1 meeting process described here.

My members really look forward to preparing this. They say that it provides them with a great reminder of what they have achieved and helps them to rise above the day to day distractions and focus on the important stuff.

It is quite simply a summary of the past period (month, quarter, etc) drafted against the following headings:

  • How I am feeling today …. xx/10

Since our last meeting:

  • Best personal achievement since last time ….
  • Best business achievement since last time ….
  • Significant business events …..
  • Emerging Threats, Difficulties & Concerns ….
  • Emerging Opportunities or Strengths ….
  • Update on Previous Issues & Objectives ….
  • Objective(s) for the next period (week/fortnight/month) ….

So now imagine that at your weekly or monthly 1-to-1, your team member presents a brief report to you following the above headings (or your bespoke version of them). If there is no entry against a heading so be it. Thinking about it is what counts.

I suggest that the 1-to-1 meeting will be informative and constructive and because you are not doing the bulk of the preparation, it will actually take place - and not be postponed because you have too little time to prepare.

A great motivator for your team members.



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