Your calendar is filled with recurring meetings every week on project status updates, all-hands meetings, and goal-setting meetings. One of the most important meetings is the one on one meeting since it allows you and your manager or direct report to build a personal relationship. Above all else, the purpose of a 1:1 meetings is to give the direct report an opportunity to discuss their ideas, goals, and needs.
There are many ways to structure a 1:1 meeting. If you are the manager, remember that the meeting is meant for the direct report. The manager’s role is to facilitate the development of their direct report. A typical structure might be the manager providing an update, the direct report providing an update, and then the remaining time is used for both manager and direct report to discuss future goals and plans.
Just as important as the meeting is the preparation itself. If you are the direct report, one of the most important aspects of the meeting is ensuring there is an agenda prepared before the meeting. If you are the manager, you can help create that agenda using this template and sharing it with your direct report.
In this Fast Company article, one of the tips for having a successful 1:1 is having questions ready to ask during the meeting. As questions come up during the work week about longer-term goals and projects, write them down in this template so that once your 1:1 meeting happens, you’ll have the questions ready to ask your manager to make the most of the time you two have together. Long-term goals are important to discuss during the 1:1, so the manager and direct report should spend time on discussing these goals over more short-term action items for day-to-day work.
There are multiple ways of organizing your 1:1 meeting notes with direct reports. One of the most common ways is to create one Google Doc for each of your direct reports (e.g. “John’s 1:1 notes”). What results with this structure is that the Google Doc becomes one long scrolling doc and you may have to insert a table of contents to refer back to older notes.
Another downside of this system is following up on action items from the 1:1 meetings. Perhaps there is an action item from several weeks ago that you needed to follow up on but it got lost in the long Google Doc. This may result in the necessity for another system to just track action items resulting from your 1:1 meetings which may be a Google Sheet.
This one on one meeting template allows you as a manager or direct report to maintain all aspects of 1:1 meetings in one place. Your meeting notes are separated by dates along the left hand section-list so that you don’t have to worry about scrolling through one long Google doc.
Keep track of meeting minutes, meeting agendas, and more in this template. For each day’s meeting note, you can also add action items that either the manager or direct report needs to follow up on. Check out this page for other templates related to meetings.
Watch a tutorial on how to use this template.