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  • Writer's pictureJon Mechan

1+1 is more than 2

One-on-One meetings are one of the most important things you can do as a leader and manager.

Vision and Strategy are useless if you don't have a team to execute them.

Creating psychological safety - actually *caring* about your staff - is paramount. For more on this topic, see Simon Sinek's work. 1:1 meetings are a key part of this.

Moreover, your 1:1 with your direct report isn't for you. It's for them.


Running a 1:1 is actually super simple. You have to listen. And you have to help.

The key questions to ask are:

- How are you doing?

- What's going on for you right now?

- How can I help?

How are you doing?

Ask your team member how they are. Listen. Care about the answer. If you find out they have an ill family member or they're struggling with something at home or at work, you are better equipped to support them.

Asking this question helps you build rapport and a real relationship with your staff.

What's going on for you right now?

This is a deliberately open question. Yes, you *can* use the 1:1 to follow up on particular projects or activities, but you trust your team member to deliver, right? And they can bring up what's hot and top of their radar right now.

This keeps it relevant to the areas where you can assist. You don't need to chase them up on particular topics - if you do, do it outside of a 1:1 anyway. Do it when it's needed rather than waiting until this meeting.

How can I help?

The most powerful question a manager can ask. This is because **your job is to enable the success of your team**. You've surrounded yourself with experts - now your job is to get obstacles out of their way and help them deliver whatever is needed.

From there, your conversation may go in several directions, and if you're approaching it with the right mindset, it will be more productive and your relationship with your team will be improved.


That's all for this time. Let me know if you'll try some of these questions in your next 1:1.

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