A 1-1 (“one-on-one”) meeting is a weekly meeting between a manager and a person who directly reports to them. Every manager has a 1-1 with each of their direct reports.
The purpose of 1-1s is to:
- Help both people achieve their goals
- Identify and/or address problems that have come up
- Get to know each other and establish rapport
- Assist the report’s career development
How we do 1-1s
- In most cases, 1-1s should be weekly recurring 25-minute meetings.
- When a new teammate joins, they set up the 1-1 calendar event.
- Create a Google Doc shared with only the manager and the direct report to keep notes from the current meeting and a list of topics to discuss next time (which can be added to throughout the week).
- Use a consistent agenda (GitLab’s suggested 1-1 agenda).
- Both people should be contributing to the 1-1 agenda (things to talk about). If either person is not contributing much, that is an indication of a larger problem that you need to solve.
- Do not wait for the 1-1 to give positive or negative feedback.
- To avoid diluting the meaning of and expectations for 1-1 meetings, avoid referring to a meeting that is not between a manager and direct report as a “1-1” meeting.
- If you have too many direct reports to have effective weekly 1-1s with all of them, that is an indication of a larger problem that you need to solve (e.g., by finding new managers for some of your reports, or prioritizing management over other tasks).
- When someone is switching managers, usually both the old and new manager should join the 1-1 with the person for a couple weeks (so it’s actually a 3-person meeting).