Five Ways to Make One-on-One Meetings Between Managers and Direct Reports More Effective | MIT Sloan Management Review

Talent Management

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One enabler of effective performance management (PM) is ongoing and frequent PM conversations between managers and employees. While this philosophy is widely endorsed, several barriers can impede these discussions, including a misalignment on topics that both managers and individual contributors want to discuss in regular one-on-one meetings.

This article offers five crucial questions for managers to pose during one-on-one meetings to ensure appropriate time allocation to topics of interest to both managers and direct reports:

  1. What’s going well? (fosters self-reflection and recognition)
  2. Where can I help? (clarifies direction and addresses roadblocks)
  3. What are your top priorities these days? (enhances visibility into employees’ work)
  4. Is there anything new or upcoming you’d like to put on my radar? (proactively identifies potential issues)
  5. How are you feeling outside of work? (can help build personal rapport and trust).

Managers and individual contributors can modify this framework to their liking as they prepare for more effective 1:1 discussions.

As a bonus, here is my playlist of five additional resources on different aspects of PM.