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.
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 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.
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.
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.