One-on-one meetings can serve many purposes and can occur on different schedules, but they should always be more than a check-in, writes Art Petty. “You want to send employees out of your one-on-ones with fresh ideas, a growing sense of belief that you trust them, and the tools and support they need to push essential items forward,” he writes.



I’m consistently surprised by how few managers and executives have a game plan for their one-on-one sessions with team members. Just ask those people, as too many describe these sessions with the boss as infrequent or inconsistent, ineffective and, in some cases, intolerable.

That’s too bad. For everyone in a leadership role, one-on-one time with your team members is precious real estate on your calendar. These sessions, when appropriately run, offer both boss and employee an opportunity to pause, breathe, reflect, strengthen rapport and re-energize for current and expected challenges.

In this article, I share ideas on how managers and their team members can structure and facilitate quality one-on-one sessions that all parties appreciate.

Here are seven ideas to unlock the value from your one-on-ones:

1. Reframe (together) the purpose of your one-on-ones
For both parties, it’s essential to define one-on-ones as opportunities to share ideas, identify opportunities and zero in on solutions to vexing problems.

I encourage managers to work hard to let their team members know that one-on-ones are not trials, judgment sessions or, worse yet, meetings where they should feel yet again compelled to justify their existence.