This post is part of our series on The 5 Types of Work Meetings.
The realm of business communication is packed with strange beasts. From power lunches to daily standups, you’ll encounter many types of gatherings that can define the course of your professional development. The 1 on 1 meeting is a classic example, yet it can defy your best efforts to pin it down.
Wondering what is a 1 2 1 meeting for and why 1 2 1 meeting events are so hard to use effectively? Looking for intelligent questions to ask the boss about career development, trying to put together one on one meeting questions to ask managers, or have a first one on one meeting with employees and don’t know where to start? Here are some of the basics you’ll need to understand to master this powerful career technique and run more lucrative professional discussions.
What is a one on one meeting?
One on one meetings (or 1 on 1 meeting meaning, one person meeting with another person) involve leaders sitting down with their team members to discuss specific issues. They typically occur in private and many administrators structure them around formal frameworks. Your managerial approach may make it prudent to:
- Use a 1 2 1 meeting template to define the boundaries and general feel of the conversation in advance
- Avoid the appearance of playing favorites by using a single one on one meeting email template
- Standardize specific discussion topics such as asking different employees the same performance-related one on one meeting questions during their individual sessions
- Follow up on a prior 1 on 1 meeting with managers to resolve unanswered concerns
What is a 1 on 1 meeting for?
While the basic 1 2 1 meaning above should have you a bit more comfortable with how these interactions usually unfold, it’s worth considering that each one is unique. For instance, two performance assessment heart-to-heart chats might look quite different depending on whether the employee under review is an upper-level manager or a novice sales floor associate. It can also be very different when you have questions to ask boss about career development in comparison too questions to ask your boss about the company.
What should you focus on achieving when scheduling dialogs with your superiors or subordinates? Some common benefits of one on one meetings include:
- Getting to know new hires a bit more personally
- Negotiating compensation terms and employment conditions
- Providing safe spaces for responding to potentially adverse situations such as harassment
- Improving worker efficiency by highlighting people’s strengths and weaknesses without publicly calling them out
- Convincing leaders that new proposals or operating standards might be worthy of further investigation and investment
Does that seem like a lot to tackle in one sit-down? Don’t worry because you don’t have to cover it all at once although, many tools can help you make a valiant attempt. The critical thing to remember is that effective one on one questions help employees and bosses communicate freely in a comfortable environment. By giving each participant the chance to address their problems honestly without fear of prompting negative group reactions, one-on-ones prove fundamental to enhanced openness and transparency — vital elements of a healthy corporate culture.
Who “owns” a 1 on 1 meeting?
Due to their atypical structures, it can be hard to tell who should lead these meetings. Things may get particularly tricky when you’re dealing with highly informal meetings that tend to flow like ordinary conversations or prepping for unfamiliar events like your first one on one meeting with manager.
As a general rule, whoever calls the meeting ought to take the initiative. For instance, when you send out office-wide 1:1 meeting invite emails, you should already have your 1 on 1 meeting questions and agenda prepared. This isn’t to say that there’s no room for give-and-take, however. Some of the most productive one on one meeting template docs (like a one on one meeting template Excel) leave room for pushback and two-way interaction.
Are you on the other side? Checking out how to request a meeting with your boss sample emails, one on one meeting request email samples, or different one on one meeting subject line examples are a good idea for employees who want to be proactive. Or, you might search for common questions to ask your boss at lunch and build a one on one meeting with boss agenda.
Why are 1 on 1 meetings so hard?
Although anyone can download a basic 1 on 1 meeting template or first one on one meeting with employee template, that’s just the beginning. Whether it’s your first one on one meeting with an employee or a regular event, every professional discussion demands foresight. In addition to researching questions to ask at a staff meeting, creating a good one on one questions format, and finding a good one on one template coaching resources, you need to schedule, conduct, and potentially generate paperwork for each event. It can also be challenging to know what’s appropriate — acceptable questions to ask your boss in a group meeting might not always be good questions to ask your boss’s boss.
How to prepare for a 1 on 1 meeting
One easy way to ready yourself for a productive sit-down is to use a meeting app like Docket. A tool like Docket templates can make it simpler to create templates, find 1 2 1 templates, structure your one on one meeting with the boss agenda, and help you identify smart questions to ask your boss. Some even let you pick a standard one on one meeting question format, create a first one on one meeting with employee template, or find a one on one meeting questions format to eliminate management biases and keep consistent for each of your 1 on 1 meetings.
As noted earlier, tools like 1 2 1 meeting template word documents are extremely helpful. For instance, if you’re well-prepared, you can avoid unsatisfying conclusions, such as being caught without any satisfactory one on one meeting answers. Practical 1 2 1 templates that integrate with your existing business tools also help ensure that your conversations don’t go to waste. For instance, if you run one on one meetings with direct reports template docs as your starting point, then you might have to do less work to keep employee-specific responses straight.