Regular, high quality one on one meetings with staff are going to save you time, get better results and also give you better peace of mind. If you haven't done the complimentary course: 3 Steps to easy 1 on 1's, then I encourage you to try it. It will show you a good One on One Meeting Technique that's easy to implement. (Includes a free one on one form download).

But the issue is that it doesn't matter how good you are as a boss, you need your employees to come onboard for you to have truly high quality one on ones. Your employees are the other half of a successful one on one just like the yin and the yang complement each other.

This article will give you some tools to train your employees and change manage the one on one implementation process. And at the end I share with you a Secret Ninja Manager Skill to flip everything around to make life easy.

Why Your Employees Need Training and Change Managing

If you don't change manage and train your employees how to have high quality one on ones then you're going to be facing the following problems:

  • Employees may not like it, and not buy in,
  • Employees won't understand what they have to do and what to prepare,
  • The process may fail to get going or achieve full velocity,
  • The process is more likely to come unstuck which reduces your credibility as a boss.

So in short without change management and employee training, you are likely to find that you are pushing against the river. This means that you'll only achieve sub optimal results and the chances of total failure become a lot higher.

What to do About It

So the question is - what to do about it?

Change Management

Whenever you do any change, but, especially when other people are involved, how you change manage it makes the difference between success and failure. in the full 3 Steps 2 easy 1 on 1's course there are instructions and resources on how to change manage this. But as a quick introduction I've got a really fast and easy tool for you to use.

Training Employees

Most of the reason why employees are apprehensive about one on ones or don't engage properly is because they simply:

  1. Don't know what to do,
  2. Don't know what to expect and, 
  3. Don't know what the benefits to them are. 

I know I didn't know what to do in one on ones with my boss. And none of my bosses showed me what to do. Sure I made it up as I went along and I know that most bosses also make it up as they go along. But that is exactly the reason why we end up overworked and frustrated at work.

If we consider ourselves professionals it's time to start acting like professionals and invest in learning how to be better bosses. Because we owe it to ourselves and our employees also deserve better bosses. The easy way to train your employees is with the free mini-resource for employees: One on One Meetings With Your Boss 

Share This With Your Employees

I made the mini-resource free so that you can share it with your employees. One on One Meetings With Your Boss will show your employees:

  • How to prepare for their one on ones with you,
  • What to do in one on one meetings.

One on One Meetings With Your Own Boss

And if you do one on ones with your own boss. (And I certainly hope for your own benefit that you have a boss who is enlightened enough to do one on ones with you.) Then I bet you'd get something positive out of it yourself.

In fact, if you think that the one on one process is good for you and your employees then I bet that you'd do well to share 3 Steps 2 easy 1 on 1's with your own boss. Then you'll be on the same page as your boss.

Adapt the Process to Suite You

The one on one process that I propose is the result of a lot of testing and research. But I also understand that people are different. There is a reason for every single item and there is a reason for every single thing that was removed too. But feel free to adapt this process to your own needs and agree with your employee your preferred way of working. And I have a confession to make about how I apply these in my own management practice.

To be frank with you, I don’t even apply all of these management techniques all the time. I forget or sometimes get a little carried away. It’s difficult to be perfect especially when you have to fight some of your own natural tendencies. And what happens - well the world doesn’t collapse because we don’t have to be perfect in every manager interaction.

What we do have to be is be better than doing nothing. And we need to have the presence of mind to realize what isn’t working and the courage to change it. What happens to me is that in general by trying and doing the techniques I have motivated and engaged employees. And I have good relationships and good communications with my team. And they are more willing to forgive my imperfections as a manager.

But also sometimes I pay the price - I get a little carried away in the moment, I don’t apply the whole technique and then I get sub-optimal outcomes. It’s not the end of the world - it’s just a reminder about what happens when you don’t do things properly. So the point of this message is that this stuff works, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being a better boss.


Being a boss is difficult. And part of the challenge of being a boss is that even if you are perfect, you still have to deal with all of the imperfections of the people you manage. Now unsuccessful bosses adopt a victim attitude and blame their employees for their problems. But successful bosses are those people who:

  • Accept the personal responsibility to make a change and, 
  • Help other people join them on their journey.

Secret Ninja Manager Trick - Flip it Around on Your Employees

In fact the secret ninja manager trick to having life-changingly good one on ones is to do a ninja flip and turn this around. As much as you are trying to improve your own one on ones, if you flip it around so that your employees:

  1. Want to have great one on ones and
  2. Understand what must happen in a one on one then you have to do less work yourself.

The mini-resource One on One Meetings With Your Boss will show them how. Then instead of pushing against a river, you'll be going with the flow and achieving Manager Zen.


What's your experience having one on one meetings with employees? Do you have any questions, comments or tips? Please help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.