How To: 1:1 (More like Why To 1:1)

Welcome to the 2nd post in my “How To” series… and of course I have to break to format already 😀

In today’s post I’ll try and talk about how to conduct a 1:1, but I’ll also focus on Why as I heard from many friends and colleagues that some managers don’t do that…

Let’s start with the How part:

As you can read on my README file (Here) I use regular 1:1s to converse with the people I manage, I share a document for us to park ideas/topics for our next 1:1 so we won’t forget and I stress that 1:1s are there for routine things, for emergencies/things that are pressing I would remind that people should come and talk to and not wait for our next 1:1.


  1. Share a document to park ideas, it’s good for both sides and it helps before going into the meeting, to know if there’s something that you need to prepare.
  2. Be open to change the meeting to fit the person, some of my peeps prefer having a walk in the park and talk for 30 minutes, some prefer to meet every 2 weeks and they feel that they are done after 15 minutes… Be open for this meeting to fit you as a manager, but also fit the person you are meeting – remember, it’s essential for both of you to feel comfortable so you can get the most of this.
  3. Define the outcome of your 1:1s (in your first 1:1/README file), I always tell my team members the 1:1s with me could be about anything, but in a more specific way, it’s a place to talk about:
    1. Career development.
    2. Team strategy.
    3. Future opportunities.
    4. Feedback (from them to me and vice versa)
  4. Be honest: I value honesty and empathy, sometimes in those meetings, you need to be tough and it’s not easy, remember that not sharing the right news could be worst in the long haul than not sharing it and “being nice”.
  5. Own this, ignore everything I wrote here 🙂 make something that you feel comfortable doing, this list is my How To, as a manager you need own this, feel free to take parts and pieces but changing whatever you need – You need to do it.


Now let’s break the format and talk about the Why To

  1. It’s important to have a connection to your team members, it’s like having a connection to the beating pulse of your team’s mood and atmosphere.
  2. Sometimes some people’s voice is heard and others aren’t the team dynamic could sometime crush the individual… 1:1s are a great way to really see how your team is doing (not just hearing those with the loudest voices).
  3. The human connection is so important to me as a manager, I feel like people work better for you if they have a strong connection to you and you will work better for them as a manager (that’s a big part of your role, isn’t it?)… So having a human connection with your team members, understand/have a glimpse of what’s happening to them in their private lives could be a significant insight to you…
  4. It’s an excellent place to understand your blind spots as a manager and ask for feedback from your team members.

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