I have written extensively on the importance of having regular one-on-one meetings with your employees to increase alignment, reduce mistakes, and build relationships. Nothing will boost engagement more than this one simple strategy (without spending a dime)!
Research shows that teams that implemented a regular 1:1 program significantly improved their performance over time, whereas teams that did not implement such programs remained the same. But the responsibility to manage talent in these private meetings can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Some leaders are not even sure how to start having these conversations with their direct reports.
In previous posts, I addressed common agenda items and 5 best practices for one-on-one meetings. In this post, I provide 10 of the most important questions every leader should be asking their employees in these status meetings.
10 Important Questions to Ask in One-on-One Meetings
1. Tell me about your family/weekend/vacation/activities.
2. Tell me about what you’ve been working on.
3. Are you on track to meet the deadline? What areas are ahead of (or behind) schedule?
4. Where do you think I can be most helpful?
5. What have you learned from handling this responsibility/project?
6. What didn’t go as you had hoped? Why?
7. What can you/we do differently next time?
8. What are your future goals? What are your plans to get there?
9. What areas of your work are you most comfortable or confident with?
10. Are you struggling in any area? Is anything bothering you?
These questions will help you transform boring and routine 1:1 meetings into powerful and effective sessions that actually grow talent and build your leadership legacy.