One On One Meeting: Sample Questions and 2 Best Agenda Templates

Open and frequent communication is the key to any relationship. It is especially important to a manager or supervisor and their direct reports, and this is usually achieved through one on one meetings. This article helps you prepare for this type of meeting by providing sample questions and a high quality one on one meeting template.



Part 1

A supervisor usually conducts a one-on-one meeting with a staff member to find out how they are at that moment. It is also done to keep track of the employee’s performance and if they are meeting their targets and goals. A 1-on-1 is an excellent opportunity to discuss any problems or issues that are hindering the employee from achieving their goals.

On the part of the supervisor, the one-on-one meeting is a great opportunity to conduct coaching and to provide feedback to a staff member.

The value of these meetings lies in the fact that they present an opportunity for the supervisor and the employee to communicate on a personal level. This increases the employee’s feeling of involvement and allows them to feel more confident in performing their job.

The interval between meetings shouldn’t be more than two weeks. However, if the circumstances within the organization mean this is not possible, no longer than one month should elapse between meetings. The meetings shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, and should not be take an excessive amount of the supervisor’s or the employee’s time.

Here are some ways on how to make one-on-one meetings productive:

  1. Have a regular schedule for the one-on-one meetings and commit to it. While meeting on an ad-hoc basis can sometimes be a good idea, the supervisor and the employee will be much better prepared for the meeting if they know when it is going to happen in advance. There may be times that the one-on-one meeting will need to be rescheduled due to other pressing matters. If it’s necessary to change the time of a meeting, it’s important that supervisors don’t make their staff feel that their meeting is a dispensable part of the schedule.
  2. The supervisor should not dominate the discussion. This session is conducted to monitor how the employee is doing and to clarify anything that may seem vague to them. The key to making this one-on-one meeting as effective as possible is to allow both the supervisor and the employee to feel comfortable. The supervisor can get the most out of it by making the conversation less formal and thus more substantive.
  3. Encourage the employee to raise issues. This way, both the supervisor and employee can think of ways to better address any problems.
  4. Document everything discussed during the meeting by using a one on one meeting template. Using a template will makes the job easier. The template is structured into fields, columns, and rows that the supervisor can complete instead of having to write a full narrative of the discussion. One-on-one meeting templates may be in Word or Excel formats, depending on which option the supervisor prefers to use. The organization may also prescribe a uniform template to be used by everyone.

Lastly, the supervisor should give the employee his full, uninterrupted attention during the one-on-one meeting. 


Part 2

One On One Meeting Template: Free Download

one on one meeting

Download One On One Meeting Agenda Template DOCX


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Sample Questions: Download One On One Meeting DOC



Part 3

Additional Resources

  1. How to Conduct an Effective Staff Meeting: Free Sample Agenda
  2. How to Run a Leadership Meeting + Free Template Download
  3. A Successful Team Meeting: How-to’s and Free Templates