Tip: Get Your Free Best Practice 1 2 1 forms and Optional Mini-Course Here Plus more tips to manage your manager.

How to Prepare for Your Single Most Important Work Meeting

So your one on one meeting with your boss is your most important work meeting. Get it right and your work life will improve in leaps and bounds. Here are some best practice suggestions that will turn your one on ones with your boss into a place to solve your problems and advance your career. These are the items that you need to be prepared to discuss with your boss:

1. Status Update for the Week Before (Or Since Your Last one on one Meeting With Your Boss)

  • What you've done,

  • Outcomes/ Results achieved,

  • Difficulties you've faced and overcome,

  • Any important decisions your boss should be informed about,

  • Any other FYI topics you think the boss would like to be informed about,

  • Don't forget that if your boss has given you work to do but you haven't yet done it that they still want to know. 1. that you haven't forgotten about it and, 2. when you are planning to do it (in particular the action items from prior agendas).

P.S. This is Your Time With Your Boss

You choose how to prioritize and what is important to share. It's also a chance to catch up with your boss on a more personal level too.

2. Your Plan For The Week Ahead

  • What you plan to work on in the week ahead, defined in tangible deliverables,

  • Your priorities,

  • Important events or interruptions, work or personal,

  • What you may need from the boss in the week ahead eg. when you may need the boss to do something for you or make a decision.

3. Items For Input From Your Boss

  • Input on any problems that need to be solved,

  • Decisions beyond your authority (that you need your boss to make),

  • Direction and priorities for the week ahead.

4. NB - Any Potential Issues Boiling Up

  • Bosses don't like surprises,

  • Has your boss ever said to you "I don't like surprises?" Even if they haven't, trust me they don't. This is your chance to discuss any important issues building up,

  • Flagging issues boiling up gives your boss a chance to pre-empt problems,

  • Put simply, if things go pear shaped, you'll get into less trouble than if you don't forewarn your boss,

  • Got personal issues that may affect your work? This is a good time to share them

5. Your Growth and Development

(You may not need to cover this every week)

  • What roles you are aiming at,

  • Additional responsibilities that interest you or support your career growth,

  • Any training you need to get better at current role or prepare for future roles.

Secret Ninja Manager Trick - Asking the Hard Questions

The following is a simple technique.  It's going to help prevent getting into trouble and getting bad surprises in your performance review. But it needs you to do the opposite of what most people want to do. Because most people don't like finding out what they are doing wrong.

It's not nice to find out that you are doing something wrong. But it's always better to know if you're not meeting expectations. Even if your boss has totally unrealistic expectations, it's better to get these out into the open early on so you can do something about it. Rather than get a disappointing surprise later on down the road

Check in with Performance Expectations

And how you do this is that you check in with performance expectations. Which is as simple as asking: "How am I meeting your performance expectations"


Ok so that wraps up what you need to prepare and do as your part of creating a well functioning workplace. It looks like a lot but it's like a yoga practice - you will get better at it over time. And you don't need to do everything every time.

But I'm also sure how you can see that following this one on one process is going to:

  1. Save you time,

  2. Improve your work performance by working smarter, not harder,

  3. It's going to lead to better bonuses promotions and increases and

  4. Ultimately lead to better happiness in the workplace

But as with everything technique is important. If you’ve never had one on one meetings with your boss before. Or if you want to have more effective one on one meetings with your boss, then I invite you to try the free mini-course: One-on-One Meetings With Your Boss. (Includes best practice 1 2 1 forms and the best tips for managing your manager)

PS: If you’re working on becoming a better boss yourself have a look at the complimentary one on one meetings course for bosses


Do you have any questions, comments or tips about one on one meetings between employees and bosses. Do you have any tips to manage your manager? Please help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.

Boss Camp

If you’ve ever ridden the tube on a Monday morning you know that work isn’t working. We need to wake up now to find a better way. WWW.BOSS.CAMP is about finding a better way to make work work. The program includes topics such as:

  • How to motivate employees,
  • What are bad employee motivators,
  • What you must do as a manager but isn't on your job description,
  • How leaders get power.