Coaching Your Leaders … The Power of Meaningful One-on-Ones

Organizations set expectations that their Core Leaders will meet formally with each individual on their teams in what we know as one-one-one meetings.  For many of your Leaders  (and their employees) these one-on-ones are awkward, if not downright painful.  I’ve learned in my coaching that many managers dread them, so they push them off whenever possible.   And, their team members often enter them wondering, “what will I hear today about how I have not met expectations?”


When you think of one-on-one meetings, know that they can serve multiple purposes, and the design of the meeting should reflect the purpose.  An overriding principle is to make sure all participants know the purpose of the check-in, plan for them and put on the calendar ahead of time, and be consistent with attendance and follow-up


Types of One-on-One Meetings

One-on-ones take multiple forms.  When done effectively, they show employees that their manager (and company) cares about their overall happiness and wellbeing, their success in their current role, and their overall professional success.


Quick Check-In

Sometimes it is a quick check in, asking how things are going, addressing in-the-moment issues, and both asking and answering questions.  These meetings provide an opportunity to ensure that employees are working on the right things, and have the resources and support they need to continue forward.


Pulse check on well-being

More than ever, scheduling time for a well-being conversation with individual team members is essential.  While we at Coaching Right Now have previously given guidance on check-ins for your team meetings this gives your employees the personal one-on-one time to share with their manager what they are struggling with, where they may need help or support, or even their victories over adversity.  It reinforces the interpersonal trust between the manager and employee, and demonstrates a focus on health and well-being.


Career Development Discussion

Career development one-on-ones provide the employee the opportunity give serious forward-looking thought to what they would like in their career and to take the lead in the discussion.  They share their career aspirations and goals, and together with their manager commit to next steps, create space for feedback, and ensure they are tracking to their development goals.  Managers should ask that they prepare in advance to share things like:

  • What they like or do not like about their current role
  • Careers of interest
  • Where they want their career to be in 6 to 12 months (and longer term – 2 to 5 years)
  • What competencies, skills and experiences need to be developed

As so many of us continue to work and lead from home, help your leaders learn how to do conduct effective one-on-ones, and use those one-on-one meetings to bolster connection and engagement across their team members.


About the Author:

Rosanna began working with Coaching Right Now in 2014, and she brings extensive experience working in global diversified industrials, small privately owned businesses and health care. A true corporate Renaissance woman, she has specialized in Human Resources, Organizational Development and Talent Management.