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One on One Conversation Resources

In This Guide



What is a 1:1?

A semi-formal meeting for a supervisor to help accelerate growth and opportunities for advancements of their employees by maximizing their strengths and findinf ways to help them be successful.

The Value of 1:1 Conversations

Dedicated time for performance management
Provide and receive informal feedback; increase accountability
Develop trust between employee and manager
Promote employee engagement, retention, and improved performance

Getting Started

  1. Schedule now: Protect that time
  2. Introduce the concept to your team
  3. What works for you?: All in one day? Keep notes in a consistent format.
  4. Prep for the meeting: Prepare yourself and prepare to engage your employee
  5. Conduct using a good structure and flow: Discuss employee's top priorities, review goals, coach obstacles, plan development, celebrate successes
  6. Don't forget: follow up, ask good questions, explain impact, utilize tools

Tips to have effective 1:1 Conversations

  • Bring a learner mindset that welcomes two-way dialogue to the meeting
  • Choose from several forms that best suit your employee's needs
  • Enter the conversation with the goal of setting up the employee so they can be successful
  • Schedule weekly check-ins for 30 minutes with each of your direct-reports
  • Take notes
  • Let the employee direct the meeting (this is for them)
  • Use the 10-10-10 model. 10 minutes for them, 10 for the supervisor, and 10 to discuss career aspirations
  • Have the conversation in a private space

What to Discuss

  • Personal Check-In: Be present, Open-ended questions, Forward focused
  • Priorities: Goals, Progress, Challenges
  • Recognition: Celebrate, Inspire, Motivate
  • Feedback & Coaching: Real-time, 180 degree view, Encourage future effective behavior
  • Development: Discover ways to employees reach full potential, Follow-up
  • Career Aspirations: What inspires them?, Development plan, Future succession needs
Sample Questions

Employee Engagement

These kinds of questions helps the manager to discover employee motivation, and also communicates the employee's value to Baylor University.

Are there skills you have that are not being utilized in your current role and on your projects?
Is there any support or resources you feel like you need?
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Is there be anything you wish you could change about this role?

Employee's Goals

Goal-oriented questions provide an opportunity to align goals of management and the University overall with those of the employee.

Are there any barriers in the way of you achieving your goals?
What can I do as your manager to help enable you to reach your goals?
Have you had any progress updates on your goals?

Career Growth and Development

Questions about career growth help employees to know that there are resources to develop and progress in their current role.

What are your current career goals?
Are there any specific skills, abilities, or knowledge you hope to gain in this role?
As your manager, what can I do to help you in your career development?

Current Projects Checkpoint

Questions about current progress help the manager learn more about the employee and can help to understand how the employee contributes to the department and University.

What was the biggest takeaway from your most recent project?
In what ways did your last project influence the way you will approach your next project?
What are you most proud of from your last project?

External Resources

  • Class in BaylorCompass: One on Ones: The 1% Leadership Solution 
  • Book: The Effective Manger by Mark Hortsman
  • Resources-One on One Conversations