6 Tips on Running a Successful One on One Meeting

one on one meeting

There is no doubt that effective communication is the backbone of any successful organization. For effective delivery, you must ensure that your employees have a smooth and effective way of communicating with each other. That will help allow your company to work efficiently and provide quality service to your customers. 

Although there are many ways employees can communicate internally, organizing a one on one meeting is a great way to collaborate. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 has changed business communication. That has made virtual face-to-face meetings important as never before. Now we have video conferencing software programs that make virtual one on ones hassle-free.

Furthermore, 1 on 1 meeting can also be held with face-to-face interactions. Shortly, I will be walking through how to run a successful one on one meeting. Before I get started, what are the benefits of the face-to-face meeting? 

  • Sometimes an honest feedback is more proactive than an expert’s opinion on how to make your company mentally healthy. A one on one meeting is a perfect way to get genuine feedback from your team members on company policies, working conditions, and observations on sales and customers. 
  • Effective in team-building with your employees. 
  • It ensures a friendly and healthy working environment.
  • It is the perfect avenue for exploring some of the best employee engagement ideas.
  • You get pointers on what you should work on in your business.
  • When you host a successful face-to-face meeting, it has a positive impact on your sales funnel.

Now that is out of the way. Let us get down to everything you need to do to have a successful one on one meeting. 

Be prepared 

The success of one on one has a lot to do with your prep work before the meeting. Often, the prep work cuts across scheduling, deciding on discussed topics, planning, and setting goals and objectives.

First off, one way to ensure success is to remind your team members about the face-to-face meeting. A reminder can be sent in email or text messages and can be followed as three months, four weeks, Seven days, and 24 hours before the D–day.

It is advisable to go through your note to see if everything checks a few hours into the meeting. If this is your first face-to-face meeting, it is normal to feel nervous. Try not to put yourself under a lot of pressure. As long as you follow everything in this read, you will be fine.

Keep an open mind

If every conversation during the meeting is about work, the one on one tends to get awkward and tense real-quick. But a little humor and casual discussion will prompt the other party to relax and speak freely. Remember, the goal here is to get honest feedback.

Ask the Right Question

It is pretty easy to go off the rails in a face-to-face interaction. Earlier, I stressed the need to keep a friendly conversation. But there is a thin line between being too professional and making your employee feel uncomfortable. That is why I have pinpointed some relevant questions for your 1 on 1 meeting. With these questions, you will have an interesting conversation. It will also help you accomplish set goals and objectives. 

  • Personal check-in questions: Commence a one on one meeting with check-in questions. These questions will help you evaluate their state of mind, and understand what’s up with your team members (without getting too personal). Try not to be invasive with these check-in questions.
    • How are you doing? 
    • How’s it going today? 
    • In our last session, you said you were having some difficulties with (state the challenges), how’s it working out now?
  • Work-related questions: These questions center on a company’s confidence, engagement survey, or even big changes in an organization. It will help you figure out how connected your employees feel to your company. Other than that, you get to know about their progress in the company.
    They include:
    • Do you have any observations regarding the recent changes (mention any recent development in your company like a product launch and new company policies)?
    • How confident do you feel with the company’s vision?
    • How aligned do you feel with where the company’s heading?
    • Where do you think the company will be in the next 3 to 5 years?
    • Over (years/months) you have been with the company, what has challenged you?
    • What inspires you the most since you’ve been with us?
  • Team building questions: It’s no secret that individuality and disunity make a workplace a living hell. Before a team can thrive, there has to be some level of bonding and getting along. These interpersonal questions will help put your house in order.
    • How will you describe your relationship with your co-workers?
    • Are there any interactions you would like to discuss?
    • Do you have any feedback for me?

Pay Rapt Attention

A one on one meeting should be a safe space where your team members can be expressive. As they provide answers to each of these questions, it is paramount to pay rapt attention to them. 

Do not cut them short when they are talking. Instead, take time to listen to their contribution and try to acknowledge their suggestions. A report by Doodle’s State of Meetings Report 2019, outlines some of the major factors that can leave meeting attendees irritated and unsatisfied. This report ranks interrupting others (50%) and failure to listen to others (49%).

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If it is a virtual meeting, ensure that you are in a serene environment. Check out this resource on how to run a successful virtual meeting

Places like the office garden, lobby, and coffee shop are perfect for one on one meeting.

If there is a need to ask questions, ensure that you ask politely and in a friendly manner. 

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Take Note

Taking notes is not a waste of time. It helps you keep a record of the things you need to work on in your company. Chances are, you will have one on one meetings with your entire team. Take note of pointers from every team member. It is not advisable to make use of your computers to take note, this is because you can be easily distracted by notifications which will likely disrupt the flow of the interaction with your team member. 

Apart from taking note, you can also record your screen with screencasting software programs for virtual face-to-face meeting.

End on a Good Note

Ensure to end one on one meetings on a good note and make sure your colleague is engaged at the end of the meeting. A report by Gallup shows that in 2020, only 36% of employees are engaged in their workplace, leaving 64% of employees unengaged.

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Today, a lot of workplaces still don’t get it right with employee engagement. Your team members should feel motivated and refreshed after a meeting, not the other way round. An ideal one on one meeting should aim at bridging the gap between management and their employees. You can put yourself on a spot by seeking their opinion and advice on your management skills. 

Furthermore, everything should not just be about you and the company. Give genuine compliments. Let them know you appreciate their effort and contribution towards the development of your company. 


Everything that has been said here from getting ready to ending a one on one meeting on a good note will ensure that you have a great outcome. However, improving interpersonal relationships and intrapersonal communication will ensure there is a boost in your level of productivity. How is that? When your employee engagement is top-notch, and you have a healthy work environment, your team members are happy. And when they are happy, there is an increase in the level of your output.


Hanson Cheng

Hanson Cheng is the founder of Freedom to Ascend. He empowers online entrepreneurs and business owners to 10x their business and become financially independent.

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