The key factors for a successful one-on-one meeting

February 7, 2022
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One-on-one meeting is a powerful management tool. It allows to take stock with your collaborator and establish clear objectives to be achieved in order to increase his productivity and efficiency. Each meeting should be prepared in the morning while you’re organizing your day.

These meetings can be perceived in different ways depending on which company you work for. Sometimes they are considered as working meetings and in other cases they are considered rather as a place to share ideas with your collaborator, a “quality moment” where everyone shares their feedback and positive and negative points to work on.

All this being very subjective, there is no universal guide to make a perfect one on one meeting with your collaborator because everyone adapts their operating methods; however, here are some tips to help you make these meetings as effective as possible.


“90 minutes of your time can improve your employee’s productivity for several weeks,”

Andrew Grove,.

Former Intel CEO

Keys to success for the optimal performance of your one on one meeting

one on one meeting

For an optimal performance of your one-on-one meeting, your collaborator should:

  • Know the objectives to be achieved
  • Have confidence in his manager and establish good communication
  • Recognize his role and responsibilities
  • Be involved in the company
  • Overcome the difficulties he will have to face

For a good monitoring and to see real improvements within your company, one on one meetings must be organized on a regular basis. During these, the aim is to identify which points need to be improved and which objectives need to be met:

At the beginning of the one on one meeting

You can start with a “temperature check“. Indeed, the general atmosphere is a criterion to be taken into account to complete successfully your meeting and guarantee you the 100% involvement of your collaborator.

During the meeting

Together, you will take a quick look at previous meetings so that you do not repeat what has already been said and focus on the agenda. It is essential to keep an history of past meeting topics to have a common thread.

Then, each in turn will present their ideas, their progress on the various action plans and suggestions for improvements concerning the internal organisation of the company. The idea is to create an atmosphere of sharing and listening where the manager and his collaborator can discuss freely.

Communication and trust are the 2 essential pillars to improve your company’s productivity. You must be able to accept that the other person does not agree and brings a different point of view; avoid as much as possible the “yes, but” and favour the “yes, or else”.

To conclude the meeting in good conditions

At the end of a one on one meeting, it is important to set “SMART” objectives to be achieved for the next meeting and to clearly define the action plans. A “SMART” objective must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Feasible, and Timely. If an objective meets these criteria, it should be accomplished without great difficulty. Knowing how to identify the obstacles that prevent the development of such objectives is essential.


Vigilances to be taken into account


In the idea of a one on one meeting, both the manager and the employee must be listened to. The two working together and sharing their ideas freely and detached from any personal interest. Listening is an essential element to exploit the creative ideas of both actors and keeping in mind the objectives to be achieved. Otherwise, we would rather speak of a “top-down meeting” where only one person intervenes.

The manager must be aware of the different risks that can be faced:

  • Disagree completely with his collaborator and not find a point of agreement
  • Do not take into account the feedback of his collaborator and do not consider that he may have a different point of view from his own
  • Have a problem of understanding in relation to the objectives and the role that each person must play
  • Do not keep a memo of what has already been said between each meeting

How to facilitate one on one meeting? 


To facilitate these weekly meetings and their monitoring, you can use a collaborative tool to simplify the tasks that you and your team must accomplish. These collaborative tools allow in particular:


  • To automate the writing of minutes: during one on one it is not unusual for you to take notes on a loose sheet or to make diagrams on a whiteboard and therefore for the information to be dispatched on different tools/media.The collaborative tool allows you to automatically create a complete minute containing all the information, accessible by your collaborator in real time on the platform. All you have to do is take a picture of your diagrams, notes, etc., and send the elements to the collaborative tool so that the information is automatically reported and saved.
  • To track your meetings outcome: once the action plan is established and the note-taking is completed you will save time, indeed the report and monitoring of the actions will be done automatically. Monitoring is important for recurring meetings such as these, so it is important to be able to monitor over the weeks what has already been mentioned and the decisions identified.
  • To automate the action plans monitoring in real time: i.e. the manager can follow in real time the progress of his employees on the action plans and have an eye on who is doing what. Conversely, the employee will be able to know what he or she has to do, what has already been done and what is in progress. There is a real actions traceability carried out.

Finally, don’t forget that during these meetings, the manager’s ambition is in most cases to improve the company’s performance and to review the commitment of each team member. The objective is to solve problems and optimize the company’s management.

The one on one remains the most powerful tool to help you team overcome issues before it is too late.

To go further, read our blog on The importance of having a good tool to manage your activity.

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