On 1:1s

1:1s needs cognitive agility;

Start positive, sharing a win;
Need some structure but not too much;
Balance asking and answering questions;
Ask about career plans;

  • Begin each meeting by sharing a win. It creates positive energy.
  • Notify your employee in advance if you plan to touch on professional development — those conversations require reflection and thought.
  • Be curious. Listen to your colleague’s concerns and provide feedback and ideas on how she might solve problems.


  • Cancel. Demonstrate to your employee that he takes priority by arriving on time.
  • Be rigid. While it’s wise to have an agenda, it’s also important to be flexible.
  • Forget to say “thank you.” It’s important to show your colleague that you value him.

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