Templates

One-on-One

Weekly 1:1 meeting agenda

Unblock and support your direct reports; identify opportunities for development and growth.

A weekly check-in between a manager and report to share feedback, keep each other in the loop, resolve issues, discuss big topics, and help each other grow in their roles.

30 minutes

Agenda

1. How are we both doing? ( 3 mins )

Start with an informal icebreaker to open up and kick things off. What are you most proud of or excited about this week? What’s stressing you out? Answers can be work-related or personal – both the manager and IC should give answers.

2. Follow-ups from last week? ( 2 mins )

Quick review of any action items from the previous week’s 1:1. If something didn’t get finished–what got in the way?

3. Where are you blocked? How can I help? ( 5 mins )

This is the report's space to surface places where they need some extra help moving work forward. When doing Check-ins, flag items throughout the week to bring to the 1:1 to discuss.

4. What else do you want to surface or discuss? ( 10 mins )

Space for either of you to bring forth deeper discussion topics or anything else on their mind. You might cover questions around a recent re-org, how a cross-functional launch was handled, or updates on a side project.

5. How are we working toward your goals? ( 8 mins )

Review individual goals and OKRs and discuss career growth. How are you tracking on quarterly goals? If something is getting in the way, how can I help? This is also a great place to surface lightweight feedback, discuss growth opportunities, and ensure you’re both aligned on a path for development.

6. Any feedback for me? ( 2 mins )

An opportunity for the report to give feedback to the manager about ways they can better support the team.

One-on-one meetings are a long-time staple between managers and their direct reports. (They can also happen between other pairings of individuals, but for the purpose of this piece, let’s focus on the manager-IC meeting.) They typically happen every week and are meant to provide a space to give feedback, keep each other in the loop, resolve issues, and help the participants grow in their roles.

The purpose of a one-on-one meeting

The primary purpose of a one-on-one meeting is to unblock and support the direct report, and identify opportunities for development and growth.

And while 1:1 meetings are primarily geared towards supporting the direct report, there are benefits for both people involved.

  • Relationship-building between the manager and their report
  • Identify areas for career development and growth – help reports meet their goals
  • Support reports in tackling blockers and resolving issues
  • Open up channels for feedback and communication that help both participants grow in their roles
  • Encourage open sharing and identity issues faced by individuals or the team as a whole

How to prepare for a 1:1 meeting

One-on-ones often feel more informal than larger group meetings, but coming prepared and being intentional with your discussion topics can help make the 30 minutes weekly meeting a lot more impactful.

  • Collaborate on the agenda. For 1:1s, co-managing the agenda ensures the direct report and their manager get to cover topics important to them and have time to prepare for a meaningful discussion together. For ICs, taking time to think through what you want to discuss during your 1:1 helps build autonomy and a growth mindset. For managers, it ensures you’re prepared to support your report on any questions or topics they might want to cover. Set aside time to review the agenda before the meeting so you’re already familiar with what will be discussed when the meeting begins.

Tip: Use flags to identify agenda items throughout the week. If your team uses Check-ins, it’s easy to flag items during daily updates so you remember to cover them during your 1:1 later on.

  • Align on status updates beforehand. One-on-ones are a valuable moment for managers to help ICs work through blockers. To get the most out of the time together, it’s helpful for managers to have a good pulse on their report’s in-flight work beforehand. That way, time together can be spent addressing blockers and brainstorming solutions, rather than getting the manager up to speed.

What to discuss during a 1:1 meeting

  • Kick things off with a feelings check: Sharing how you’re feeling helps open the door for open, honest conversation and is a good way to ease into a one-on-one meeting. It helps create a safe space where both participants feel comfortable being vulnerable. Sharing can be free form (“How are you doing today?”) or a bit more guided (“What been most energizing for you this week? What’s been draining?”) This also helps level-set. For instance, if one of you is having a rough week, sharing how you’re feeling can build understanding on why you might be acting quieter or less engaged.
  • Focus on growth and blockers instead of every item on the to do list.  Facetime is valuable – and it’s important to treat it as such. When planning an agenda for your weekly team meeting, prioritize topics and activities that work best when done in-person (or over video). Things like brainstorming solutions to blockers, giving feedback on the latest deployment, and discussing potential growth areas are all great candidates for 1:1 agenda items. On the flipside, things like listing off every item on your to-do list or giving a status update on the upcoming launch aren’t the best use of your collaborative time together and can easily be handled asynchronously instead.

Tip: Leave space for questions, discussion, and follow up. When possible, don’t try to cram too much into a 1:1 meeting. There will inevitably be topics that come up which want to dive into more deeply – leaving some extra time to explore them can help the meeting feel more productive and less rushed.

  • Close out by asking for feedback: For managers, we recommend ending every 1:1 meeting by asking your report what you could be doing differently. Not only will this help you grow as a manager, it can also help identify areas where the IC needs support that may not have been obvious or apparent before.