4 Manager Tips To Make 1-On-1 Meetings More Comfortable


If you’re a practicing manager, you know how dreadful 1-on-1 meetings can be. Whether it’s to lecture an employee who isn’t performing well, or you’re just checking up on something – wouldn’t things be better if they were more comfortable? Millennium Omaha thinks so.

Because you probably will need to conduct 1-on-1 meetings in the future, why not read these 4 manager tips to make the process more comfortable? Let’s dive in.

Create a Meeting Agenda

1-on-1 meetings can be about a variety of topics, and that’s why we encourage you to create a meeting agenda. For those unfamiliar, a meeting agenda is simply a list of topics, talking points, and activities you’re looking to discuss in your meeting. They’re effective at ensuring you and your employee cover all your bases, and save time.

Share the meeting agenda with your employee so they can provide their input and start preparing for the meeting from their end.

Have the Right Mindset

Don’t overthink these personal meetings as something super professional or intense. Instead, it’s really just a discussion. Put yourself in the role of a coach and supporter, while keeping the focus on the initial topic of the meeting in the first place. Ask open-ended questions to foster discussion, and encourage your employee to talk about what’s on their mind.

Pro tip: Don’t want to be stuck in a daunting office room? Well, there are other options for a more informal meeting. As long as you bring your discussion points with you, feel free to go to breakfast, grab a coffee, or even go on a walking meeting.

Commit to Active Listening

Remember, there’s usually a reason for holding 1-on-1s in the first place. Don’t listen just to be polite, and actually listen. Stay focused, ask follow-ups, and do your best to make your employee feel heard. This way, they’ll open up more and be more involved in the discussion.

Managers will need to create reports for their meetings, and this includes 1-on-1s. Actively listening makes these reports detailed, and of more assistance, if you need to look at the reports in the future.

Make 1-On-1 Meetings More Consistent

Don’t make personal meetings a big deal. Set regularly scheduled 1-on-1 meetings with your employees once a week or bi-weekly to show that you’re investing in their career growth. Plus, these meetings become less awkward when you conduct them on the regular.