You need to enable JavaScript to run this app.

How To Do Great One-On-Ones as a Manager


Discover the potential of one-on-one sessions for managers and leaders. Learn tips and techniques to create connections with team members, foster professional growth, and make informed decisions.

Time to read
12 min.
Published at
How To Do Great One-On-Ones as a Manager

1. Introduction

On my favorite books page, you'll find a remarkable read called "The Making of A Manager" by Julie Juoe. This comprehensive book offers valuable insights into management and leadership, making it a must-read for current and aspiring managers.

In this post, I want to focus on one particular aspect highlighted in the book: the significance of one-on-one sessions with your team members as a manager.

2. Tips for Effective One-on-One Sessions

To make your one-on-one sessions more qualitative and impactful, the book provides several useful tips:

2.1. Recurrance

The author suggests scheduling weekly one-on-one sessions with each team member. While the duration may vary, it's recommended to allocate at least thirty minutes for these meetings.

2.2. Avoid expressing your expectations

These sessions should primarily revolve around your report and their success rather than your expectations. Focus on how you can assist them in their professional growth.

2.3. Update channel

Use the one-on-one sessions to identify and address any obstacles hindering productivity. If you require a status update, utilize a different communication channel.

2.4. Aim for efficiency, not just pleasance

An effective one-on-one session should leave your team member feeling that it was genuinely beneficial for them. Strive to create a memorable and valuable experience for them.

2.5. Discuss top priorities

To maximize the value of your time together, concentrate on what is most important for your team member. Inquire about their critical outcomes and explore ways to support them in tackling challenges.

2.6. Calibrate the "Great"

It is crucial to establish a shared vision within your team, aligning everyone's goals and expectations to work toward a common objective.

2.7. Share feedback

Offer constructive feedback that can help your team member grow professionally. Additionally, ask for feedback from them to enhance your effectiveness as a manager.

2.8. How is everythig?

Occasionally, zoom out and discuss your team member's overall state of mind. Inquire about their general satisfaction, goals, recent learnings, and aspirations for the future.

  • How are you feeling on the whole?
  • What's making you satisfied or dissatisfied?
  • Have any of your goals changed?
  • What have you learned recently and what do you want to learn going forward?

2.9. [Extra] Remember your vision

Maintain and review your ambitious, concrete, and specific vision for your team. Assess if others in the organization can accurately recall and articulate it. If you ask 5 random people who have heard your vision to repeat it, would they be able to?

3. Questions for One-on-One Sessions

To facilitate effective communication and understanding, consider asking the following questions during your one-on-one sessions:

3.1. Identify

  • What is currently top of mind for you?
  • Which priorities are you thinking about this week?
  • How can we make the best use of our time today?

3.2. Understand

  • What does your ideal outcome look like?
  • What challenges are you facing in achieving that outcome?
  • What matters to you the most?
  • What actions do you believe are the best course of action? Are there any worst-case scenarios you're concerned about?

3.3. Support

  • How can I assist you?
  • What can I do to contribute to your success?
  • What part of our conversation today did you find most valuable?

4. Gathering Data from Sessions

Even when conducting one-on-one sessions effectively, it is crucial to capture and retain pertinent information for future reference. Consider the following reasons why noting specific details is important:

4.1. Why noting matters?

  1. Decision making: Recording specific details provides valuable data for making informed decisions when faced with multiple choices.
  2. Intercommunication: As a team, numerous factors can impact performance and emotions. Hearing different perspectives is essential for understanding the dynamics within the team.
  3. Supervision circles: Supervision circles are gatherings of managers who share examples and insights from their one-on-one sessions. These collaborative meetings enable participants to benefit from diverse perspectives and collectively make informed decisions.

5. Conclusion

By implementing the tips from "The Making of a Manager" and engaging in effective one-on-one sessions, you can enhance your managerial skills and foster a supportive environment for your team members' professional growth. Remember to note important details, allowing you to make informed decisions and nurture a collaborative culture among fellow managers.

Favourite Books
Favourite Songs
Favourite Shows