Turn Your One-on-Ones Around by Asking the Right Questions.

One On One meetings with staff are one of those under appreciated management arts. Do One on Ones done right they will put you on the path to management Nirvana. Instead of trying harder, turn your meetings around by asking the right employee One on One meeting questions. Sometimes less is more. By getting your employees to do the talking, you can get better results than by doing all the talking yourself. This is an active listening skill that is totally underrated.

PS: Ask the right questions at the right time. There are four distinct sections in a one on one meeting agenda. Make sure you stick to the right agenda by downloading a One on one meeting template.

PPS: Are you getting the most from your employee One-on-Ones? Find out best practice in my free short course 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1s

What do you Want From Your One-on-One Meetings?

A great One-on-One Employee Meeting will leave you with the following:

  • You won’t be left wondering what your employee has been doing
  • You’ll know where your employee is struggling, this will tell you:
    • If there is anything that might blow up that you need to attend to or
    • What performance areas to work on improving with your employee
  • You’ll know what your employee is planning to do in the future which gives you an opportunity to re-align priorities
  • You will build a better relationship and understanding with your employee
  • You will have motivated the employee to take ownership for their own work and solve their own problems

If these are some of the things that you want as a boss then you can use these Employee One on One Meeting Questions to tease them out:

Questions to Ask During One on One Meetings: The Employees Agenda

What I’ve found the best way to start is “Please tell me what you’ve been working on in the past week. What have you achieved? Over to you.”

Instead of doing all the hard work yourself - put the ball in their court and let them do the talking. This encourages your employees to take ownership for their work. And once you’ve started, keep the ball in their court. Here are some really helpful questions:

  • Is there anything that you’re struggling with?
  • Are there any problems or issues that I should know about?
  • What do you think you can do to fix that problem?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • Is there anything that you need from me?

Questions to Ask During One on One Meetings: Future Deliverables

I can guarantee that your employee has got different priorities to you. This means your employee can be working hard but you still don’t get what you want as a boss. That’s why one of the best ways to achieve more efficient work outcomes is to ask:

  • What are your priorities for the week ahead?

Questions to Ask During One on One Meetings: Growth

As a boss one of your responsibilities is to grow and develop your employees. This is how you improve performance and delegate parts of your job to your employees. This is of course great for you as the boss. But it’s not just about you, your employees love it too because people want to learn and grow.

  • What areas of your job do you find difficult that getting better skills at would help?
  • What skills do you have that you think are underutilized?
  • What capabilities linked to career growth do you want to develop?
  • Where do you think we can do better?

Don’t Feel Like You Have to Have all the Right Answers

As a boss it’s stressful when you feel like you have to have to have all the answers. It’s so much easier to have the right questions. Sometimes getting what you want is as simple as asking for it.

Super User Tip: 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1’s is a short, free online training program that will show you more tips and best practice for having effective one on one meetings with staff.


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