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5 Tips For Effective One on One Meetings at Work

As a leader, you have to create a safe space where your team members feel comfortable approaching you. If you can show openness to feedback and help coworkers with their struggles, you will build trust.

Many modern companies, especially tech businesses, have been advocating for a feedback culture, where leads and members chat every once in a while to discuss challenges and define action items. However, those “one on one meetings” could become a waste of time (and money) when used incorrectly. Check below some tips for leveraging that tool and become the best lead your coworkers ever had.


1) Share an agenda beforehand

“So tell me, how are things?” “Things are okay…” (awkward silence)
No, no, no. Keep that meeting too generic, with no goal set, and you will discuss everything but what matters. Great one on ones have an agenda shared beforehand, so both parties can prepare. Tools such as Teamworki can help you with that.

2) Be specific

Regardless if it is a recurring 1:1 session or something scheduled just once, it doesn’t matter: you have to be specific. When bringing constructive and/or positive feedback, you have to start with facts and then tell your story. “Remember last week when you interrupted our Team Lead every minute?” would be an example.

Teamworki is a great tool for effective One on Ones

3) Give the other a chance to speak

Don’t make it a monologue. For each item you are bringing to the table, give the other person enough time to elaborate and share their perspective. Don’t forget to give them enough time, in the end, to also discuss topics they may have.

4) Keep an eye on the clock

If this is a 30-minute session, don’t make it overwhelming. Discuss what has to be discussed, while giving enough time for the topics to flow. At the end of the day, meetings should meet their goal without overwhelming people.

5) Be actionable

This is the most important to me. I lost the count of how many times I brought concerns to a manager and, one week after, nothing happened. Show the others you can help with their struggles and you will build trust. Software such as Teamworki allows you to set tasks (action items) on top of each topic discussed in the meeting, with a deadline, and visibility to the other party on the status.


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