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The Ultimate One-on-One Meeting Templates

Keep your finger on the pulse for engaged, motivated and productive employees
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Every great leader relies on one-on-one meetings...

One-on-one meetings are a great way to build relationships between managers and their team members, address workplace issues, and keep employees engaged. These kinds of meetings are suitable for a range of personal topics, from how an employee is feeling at work, to what their career goals are, to providing feedback about challenges and how they might behave differently in the future.

Not all one-on-one’s follow exactly the same agenda template. They can vary based on the roles and relationships of both parties, as well as whether the team member is remote, and how often the one-on-one meeting is occurring, whether that be weekly, monthly, and so forth. Below are sample one-on-one meeting agendas for you to use depending on what is most appropriate in your circumstance. For more tips on having great one-on-one’s, also check out the FAQ at the bottom of this page or visit our whole library which includes 80+ agenda template examples. 👇

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General One-on-One

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Check-In

How are both of you feeling at work? Anything new? Anything exciting planned? Take some time to catch up with each other.

Roadblocks & Concerns

Have any issues or challenges come up since the last one-on-one? How can we help?

Recognize Wins

What have we accomplished since our last meeting? What valuable lessons were learned?

Update on Objectives

What are the most important things we'll focus on going forward? Are there any new objectives? How do these fit into the short-term and long-term goals?

Action Items

What steps must be taken to make progress on our goals? List them here as well as who is responsible for what. Set clear expectations and timelines.

Revisit Later

What was mentioned that should be noted and deferred? Is there anything either party would like to discuss during the next one-on-one?

Feedback

Is there any other noteworthy feedback? How can we help each other be more successful?

Follow-Up

How will we keep in touch and stay up-to-date about progress? Should we schedule another one-on-one?

One-On-One

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Kick-off the meeting

Ask your team member about the highlight of their week (this doesn't need to be restricted to work; anything will do)

Read your team member's prepared update in silence 

Have your teammate create an update prior to the meeting. The update should: 

  1. Center around their OKRs for the month/quarter/year. Split into 'what went well', and 'what could improve' sections around each objective
  2. Track progress towards their KPI's
  3. Summary of any pertinent information about how their goals have gone. e.g. What new information did you gather about the customer? The product?

Go through your team member's issues (and proposed solutions)

Try to keep to a few minutes for each issue and not get bogged down in minutiae. For clear asks, give an immediate response or create a follow-up task. Otherwise, we recommend helping people come to their own conclusions, it'll foster a sense of healthy independence.

Cover any open-ended discussions (time for blue-sky thinking)

Prompt your report to create topics prior to the meeting.

Ask, "what are your three most important things to get done by this time next week/month"

Preferably whatever they come up with should be related to their OKR's. Jot down the three tasks in your project management system, set the owner, and the due date for the next one-on-one. 

Feedback

Be extremely candid and clear with your critical feedback, leave no room for interpretation. Make sure to give both positive and negative feedback. 

High-five

This seals any commitments and parts of the meeting with a good note. 

One-on-One: Catching Up 1:1

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The Upcoming Week

Set expectations and align on near-term priorities for the week ahead.

Review Priorities

Where are we in relation to our goals/plan? Reiterate top priorities to reinforce focus.

Comment on Recent Work

Review recent successes or failures to guide future work.

Status Update and Course Correction

How is x, y, and/or z task going? Offer guidance on work in progress.

New Information

Review new, relevant information.

Follow-Up

One-on-One: Coaching Mentoring 1:1

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Objective(s)

Outline the objectives of the session.

Review

Review actions and learning from or since the last session (if applicable).

Questions or Issues

What questions or issues keep coming up? Figure out what to do to avoid—or mitigate the impact of—persistent issues.

Future Planning

What do you need to do to continue growing and discovering? i.e. developing skills, changing your approach, etc.

Mentor/Mentee Feedback 

What can we do to make these sessions more valuable? Provide feedback both ways, mentee to mentor and mentor to mentee. 

Follow-Up

When is our next one-on-one check-in? Summarize any action items arising from the one-on-one.

One-on-One: Goal Setting 1:1

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Big Picture

Where do you see your career going in the short/long-term? 

Career Growth — Organizational Mandates Alignment 

Where do the organization’s mandates most closely align with your career goals? Discuss how [the direct report’s] job function fits into organizational goals.

Goal-Setting Part 1 - Aspirational

Brainstorm measurable, meaningful short and long-term career goals

Goal-Setting Part 2 - Actionable

Brainstorm measurable, meaningful short and long-term goals to create stepping stones towards achieving specific organizational mandates.

Follow-Up

Do we need solo time to build on this? Should we review our goals again? When will we connect again to measure progress? 

One-on-One: Manager Monthly 1:1

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Opener Question

Start with an open-ended question. What has got you excited at work? 

Note Progress & Highlight Wins 

How is _____ going? Discuss long-term initiatives. 

Tell me about some recent successes? (AND/OR) What projects have we wrapped up successfully recently? Highlight shorter term wins. 

Review Lessons Learned

What have you learned over the past 1 - 3 months? Highlight learnings.

Overcome Persistent Obstacles

What is slowing you down, making your job less enjoyable, or preventing you from achieving your career goals? How can we fix that? 

Plan to remove specific roadblocks and create action items.

Open Evaluation and Feedback

How can we improve our working relationship? What could I (the manager) do better?

Open Floor

Open discussion. What’s been keeping you up at night? What do you want more of?

Follow-Up

Wrap up and follow up. When’s our next one-on-one?

Action items:


One-on-One: Manager Weekly 1:1

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Intro question

Start with an open-ended question. How was last week? What’s been working well for you lately? 

Celebrate Wins & Lessons Learned

What have we accomplished since our last meeting? Note progress on important initiatives.

How can we be better? Highlight lessons learned from the previous week.

Remove Roadblocks

What (if anything) is stopping—or slowing down—your progress? How can we remove that roadblock? What support do you need? 

Plan to remove specific roadblocks and create action items.

Two-Way Evaluation and Feedback

How are we doing? How can we work together more effectively? 

Open Discussion

Provide time for open discussion. Is there anything else you want to talk about? 

Follow-Up

Should we schedule another one-on-one? Review any action items arising from the one-on-one.

Action items:


One-on-One: Remote Employee 1:1

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Warm up

Start with a light, open-ended question. What’s been keeping you busy?

Highlight Achievements

What milestones have we hit since our last check-in? Note progress on important initiatives and emphasize takeaways.

Problem Solving

What’s stopping you from being more productive? How can management help you be more productive? 

Plan to remove specific inefficiencies or roadblocks. Create action items.

Two-Way Evaluation and Feedback

What are we doing well? What can we do better? Discuss ways to create value for manager, employee, and the organization.

Open Discussion

Provide space for open discussion. What’s got you excited? Worried? Annoyed?

Follow-Up

When is our next one-on-one check-in? Summarize any action items arising from the one-on-one.

Action items:


One-on-one: Skip level

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Attendees

A skip one-on-one meeting is a meeting with managers or senior leaders in the company with those who are in junior positions. It is important not to have the meeting with a direct report in order to get honest and accurate feedback. To be truly effective you must create an environment in which the employee feels comfortable. Ideally, the manager should have a relationship with the individual being interviewed. Remember these sessions are about listening and learning from different perspectives in the organizations. 

Preparation

Managers should come armed with questions about the business based on data they’ve reviewed in advance — both qualitative and quantitative. 

Here are some questions you might want to ask in your one-on-ones:  

  • What is the morale in the office from their point of view?
  • How they are feeling about his or her team?
  • What their manager is doing well and not well?
  • What obstacles are they facing in their job? (If you are their skip-level manager, take steps to unblock these obstacles — it will mean a lot to the person that you took action.)
  • Do you understand the company’s goals and how your team’s goals fit into that picture?
  • Do you feel like you can do things you believe are right for the business?
  • Do you think leadership acts consistently with your values?
  • What would make work better for you?
  • When was the last time you took a vacation?
  • What is your sacred space? Do you feel like you have time for it?

Open Forum

  • Ask the interviewee if there is anything that was not covered above that they would like to add?
One-on-One

Agenda Template FAQs

How do you prepare for a customer meeting?

Whether your next customer meeting is your first or 15th with that client, you need an agenda. To build an agenda, you focus should be on answer these three questions:

  1. What is the current state of the customer’s progress toward their goals?
  2. What issues need to be solved to move the customer closer to their goals?
  3. How can these issues be solved?

How to specifically structure your agenda may vary based on your customer, but our library of 80+ meeting agenda examples should give you a good starting point.

How do you start a customer meeting?

As you get your meeting started, you want to grab everyone’s attention, set expectations, and then launch right into it!

  1. While small-talk is great for building rapport before a meeting, don’t let the chatter go on more than a couple of minutes into the official meeting time
  2. If there are participants who don’t know each other, introduce them (and yourself!)
  3. As you get the meeting started, reaffirm why you’re meeting, and what everyone will get out of it. Spending 20 seconds summarizing the agenda shows that you have and plan and you’re in control
How do you end a customer meeting?

As you wrap up your customer meeting, you should revisit any action items you’ve noted during the meeting and affirm that you’re on top of things. This is a good time to note who will be responsible for what, and when the customer can expect an update.
Then, end on a positive note, showing enthusiasm for your partnership and thanking your customer for their time.

How do you have an amazing first client meeting?

Relax and smile
You may be stressed in an attempt to get started on the right foot. Don’t let that impact your body language (even on video conferencing).
 
Offer something of value for free
In addition to any materials in your welcome package, set the stage for a strong relationship by making an offer. This could be a resource, like a research or an ebook, or it could be to set up a training or consultation. It could even be minor, like providing advice based on the customer and your experience with other customers like them. Whatever it is, find a way to show your client that you’re deeply invested in their success.

Listen more than you speak
You may have landed this client, but you still have a lot to learn about their expectations, goals, and priorities. Ask a lot of questions, and listen actively. Even if you think you already know the answers, being a good listener will help build rapport, and you never know—you may learn something incredibly valuable after all.

Be specific about what you offer and how you can help
A common pitfall in initial client meetings is to be overly general. Instead, now is the time to be specific. What exactly will you do together? Who, how much, how often, measured in what way?

Do you have a guide to running great customer meetings?

As a matter of fact, we do. This short, downloadable guide walks you through running a customer meeting that both strengthens customer relationships and improves company wide collaboration.

Get your free download:
The Art of the Customer Meeting.

How do you run a design meeting?

How to run your design meeting will depend a lot on what kind of design meeting it is. Is this a sync up between just a PM (or other product owner) and the designer? Is it a weekly meeting for the design team? A critique? Or is it a cross-functional meeting, with many stakeholders present?
 
Each of these types of meetings requires a slightly different approach. What is common between them, is a need to be upfront and clear about what the goals of the meeting are (and what they aren’t).

For example, here are some typical examples of design meetings:

  • Brainstorm approaches for an early design
  • Seek feedback on an in-progress design
  • Get buy-in on a nearly completed design
  • Plan, decide, and organize your team’s design process
Should non-designers be invited to a design meeting?

Successful design projects usually need involvement from other stakeholders, but too much meddling can throw a wrench in the design process. As a general rule (that can sometimes be broken), input from non-designers is the most helpful at the beginning and end of a design process.

Early in the project, in the research phase, non-designers can be incredibly helpful. They can clarify how a design will be used, describe customer needs, and reveal requirements that might not be obvious about how the design should be used. If designers have experimented with multiple approaches to a problem, it can be useful to share these sketches early on.

Once the design specifications are clear, however, it’s often a good idea to let designers and project people iterate through the problem in a small team with minimal distraction. It’s during this time that small details can become a distraction for non-designers.

When a design is nearly complete, it’s once again helpful to invite key stakeholders to make sure the design is successful, and get buy-in before more resources are invested in making the design come to life.

How do you have a good team meeting?

Consider what can be removed from your agenda… and your invite list
Possibly the most common complaint about team meetings is that they are a waste of time. So the first step toward having a good team meeting is asking yourself whether everything on your agenda needs to be part of the meeting, and whether everyone needs to be there. By keeping a tight agenda and a smaller group, you’re sending a signal that people’s time is important.

Share your agenda in advance
Speaking of agendas, be prepared. Share your agenda in advance, so that the rest of the team know what will be discussed. This way, they can prepare their thoughts, and the meeting will run smoothly. If you surprise people with topics, those parts of a meeting can take longer.

Let other people talk
Many leaders and executives make the mistake of thinking that if they are running a meeting, they need to talk the whole time. Instead of Presenting on a topic for 30 or 60 minutes, structure your meeting so that others participate and even take the spotlight. 

For a more in-depth structure to follow, check out Vital Meetings, the free guide to having shorter, fewer, and better meetings.

How do you make sure real decisions are made in executive meetings?

With executive time being so valuable, it’s important that exec meetings focus not on information sharing, but rather on discussion that leads to decision-making.

One strategy that works here, is to use action-oriented agendas. For example, instead of an agenda item called, “Priorities for next quarter” make a bold statement on your agenda: “Decide on top 3 priorities for next quarter.” This leaves no wiggle room for failing to meet the goal of the meeting.

If you’re a manager or leader, how much time should you spend in meetings?

If you take a look inside a manager’s calendar, it’s not uncommon to see 50-90% of their time blocked off in meetings. At first glance, this seems to make sense. If your primary function is leadership, should you spend the majority of your time with others? However, this kind of distribution often doesn’t leave enough time for strategic thinking and planning.

If you’re attending lots of meetings out of a need to stay in the loop, a better approach is to ask your team to take notes on important meetings, and share them with you (and other relevant stakeholders). A meeting management platform like Hugo can help, and many managers whose teams use Hugo report spending 20-50% less time in meetings because they can rely on skimming notes for less important meetings instead.

What is an HR meeting?

HR (human resources) is responsible for supporting recruitment, hiring, training, and managing. HR professionals meet with job applicants and current workers to support these goals in a variety of meetings, ranging from job interviews, to trainings, to one-on-one coaching sessions.

What should you do if HR wants to meet with you about your behavior?

If your behavior at work is in the process of being addressed, you may need to meet with HR. This can be a stressful situation, but ultimately, if you handle yourself professionally, you should be able to come out of the meeting in good shape (and keep your job).

Here are a key tips to keep in mind:

  • Request examples of behaviors that need to be addressed
  • Write down any specific requests
  • Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings
  • Listen and repeat back what you hear to show you are listening
  • Take ownership of your mistakes
  • Ask for help if you need it
  • Show your commitment by setting clear next steps
  • Stay positive (and avoid being defensive)
  • Say thank you. Be gracious for the opportunity to improve
How do I tell my boss about a bad co-worker?
  • Schedule a meeting so that you know you have private time set aside to have the conversation
  • Focus on the behavior, not the person. Avoid personal attacks and instead focus on what they are doing
  • Show up prepared. Put some thought into what you want to say. Taking notes about the behavior in question may help
  • Stick to the facts, and not what you think someone is thinking/feeling
  • Keep a cool head. Even if the issue is serious, try to avoid arguing, shouting, and cursing
  • Request help in finding a solution
How should you handle yourself in an HR meeting?
  • Focus on the facts of the situation
  • Be calm, even when under pressure
  • Consider other people’s points of view
  • Be aware of negative body language
  • Practice good listening. (Don’t cut anyone off)
  • Make sure your effort matches the importance of the issue. (Don’t go crazy over something small)
Who should be at a marketing meeting?

Invite necessary decision-makers, but don’t cast too wide of a net. Since marketing often involves or impacts a lot of departments, it can be tempting to invite a lot of people to some marketing meetings. Instead, try to pair it down. If someone is being invited to the meeting only as an FYI, send them meeting notes instead.

How do you set an agenda for a marketing meeting?

The common structure for many marketing meetings is the following:

What are common types of marketing meetings?
How do you make team meetings more engaging?

The best meetings involve the whole room, not just one or two presenters. Here are a few ways to encourage more engagement:

  • Ask others to contribute to the agenda. Having a shared agenda helps everyone in the room feel responsible for the meeting’s success.
  • Make small talk as people are settling in. When you show up early, get the conversation flowing instead of burying your head in your laptop or your phone.
  • Don’t do all the talking. Invite fellow participants to lead discussions and provide updates.
  • Give updates before the meeting. Provide materials to review before the meeting so that you can focus on the discussion and decision-making when everyone is together.
  • Do a deep dive into one topic. Focus on a single challenge to tap into the collective intelligence of everyone attending.
  • Keep a sense of humor. Cracking the occasional joke will help meeting participants feel open to expressing their own ideas.
What agenda topics are most common in team meetings?

Team meetings are among the most common and most important meetings in any workplace. Agendas for these types of meetings range wildly, but all topics usually fall into one of these categories:

  • Introductions. If they don’t already, make sure everyone in the room knows who each other are.
  • Updates. Updates are extremely common in team meetings, but often they are also the hog a lot of time without providing a lot of value. Summarize updates on the agenda when possible and keep them brief.
  • Discussions.
  • Decisions. If a decision needs to be reached during the meeting, note it explicitly on the agenda.
  • Next steps. While not a significant part of the agenda, it’s important to always agree on action items from a meeting and who owns them.
What are some fun and cool team meeting ideas?
  • Go around the table with an icebreaker. Get to know each other by having everyone answer the same question.
  • Change up the location. Get out of the conference room and into the break room, or on the lawn outside.
  • Start at a weird time. Pick something memorable like 1:23 pm.
  • Get some exercise. Switch things up during a long meeting by having everyone take a run around the block, do as many pushups they can do, or some other physical activity to get the blood pumping.
  • Pass out prizes. Have a pile or swag, or candy bars, or coffee gift cards up at the front of the room. Whenever someone makes a spectacular contribution, toss them a prize.
What are good questions to ask in a one-on-one?

Personal/rapport-building:

  • What worries you? What keeps you up at night?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • How’s life outside work?
  • What do you like to do on the weekends?
  • Do you feel like you’re making progress on your career goals?
  • What are your big dreams in life outside of work?

Career growth:

  • What skills would you like to develop?
  • Do you feel challenged in your role?
  • Is there any training or education we should be investing in for you?
  • How do you see your role evolving?
  • Do you feel like you’re making progress on your career goals?
  • Who in the company would you like to learn from?

Giving/receiving feedback:

  • Do you feel you’re getting enough feedback?
  • What’s an area where you would like help or coaching?
  • What’s an aspect of your job you’d like to improve?
  • How can I help you be more effective?
  • What is something I can do better?
  • What have past managers done that you’d like me to do as well?
Why have one-on-ones with your employees?

One-on-one meetings have many benefits:

  • Help employees build better relationships with their managers 
  • Provide opportunities for coaching and training
  • Encourage employees to feel valued at work
  • Discuss performance and areas of improvement
  • Find out what employees are (and are not) excited about
  • Learn how managers can better help employees
Who should set the agenda for a one-on-one meeting?

It’s good for the employee to feel ownership of their one-on-one because the meeting is primarily for their benefit. So, rather than having a manager set the agenda every time, the majority of the agenda should be driven by the employee. Of course, there should still be opportunities for managers to lead the conversation, especially when it comes to topics like coaching and performance. Using a meeting notes app that allows for easy, collaborative agendas can help.

Should one-on-one be hyphenated?

Yes. The word one-on-one is always hyphenated, regardless of whether it is used as a noun, adjective, and adverb.

What are other ways to spell one-on-one?

Writing all three hyphenated words out as one-on-one can be tedious. For brevity in your calendar invites, try using: "1:1" or "Name <> Name."

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