Make Your 1 to 1 Meetings More Meaningful

Leaders, Are you Stuck in 1:1 “Ground Hog Day”?

Leaders often look very surprised when I tell them that their team members remember conversations they’ve had with their boss for a long time. And when those conversations are meaningful, they go home and share what was said with their spouses.

Many team members feel a deficit when it comes to substantial interactions with their boss. And too often regular meetings become routine, often causing people to leave the meeting with more questions than answers.

In particular, 1:1 meetings can become either rote status meetings or quick fix-it conversations in a crisis.

Not planning for and conducting thoughtful 1:1 meetings with team members can be a significant missed opportunity. An opportunity to re-engage, re-enlist and re-inspire a team member.

Here are 12 questions that you can insert into your 1:1 meetings to create meaningful dialogue and uncover new information that energizes and leads to innovation.

  1. Is there was one task that if you could stop doing it, it would free up your time significantly?
  2. Looking back on this past quarter, what do you feel are your most significant learnings?
  3. Is there an opportunity that you see for us to make a change that would significantly positively impact our customers?
  4. Are there any trends you see in the behaviors of our customers over the past 2 to 3 months that we haven’t discussed?
  5. What would you like to learn more about?
  6. What could you teach others?
  7. Do you see a challenge that we as a team should discuss and brainstorm in order to improve our response to it?
  8. What do you enjoy most about what you are doing in this role?
  9. What do you enjoy least?
  10. Have you noticed inefficiencies in our processes that should be addressed?
  11. What are your career aspirations? How can I support you in moving in that direction?
  12. What could I do to make your work experience even better?

The 13th question you can ask as a leader? “What do you wish I would ask you about with regard to your work that I have not been asking?”

Open up the dialogue and enrich your 1:1 conversations. Everyone would like to leave those meetings feeling that the conversation was meaningful and engaging.

How often do you think your team members feel that way at the end of a 1:1 with you?