On Conducting One-On-One Meetings

team management
work processes

The Problem

There are various processes in the team day-to-day work that require personal communication - and communication is a hard thing to get right. One of such communication types is one-on-one meetings (1x1, 1/1 and so on) - a format used to discuss personal matters, deliver (or ask for) the feedback, discuss problems, establish growth direction and steps and so on.

1x1 or 1 vs 1?

When done right, it's a very useful part of the process - when communication is open and mutually respectful and responsive, it really helps the personal and professional development, and especially to early detect and address any problems the individual might have.

But when teh manager (or whoever is playing more senior role in the meeting) is not engaged or not interested or would rather be elsewhere, it turns into an annoying chore and causes much harm as it makes the team member's distrust to the management, caging problems rather than discussing them, and eventually making team a dysfunctional rather than efficient.

Expert opinion

There's a great article about the subject by my former Booking.com colleague: https://medium.com/@xsawyerx/perfectly-simple-and-simply-perfect-one-on-one-meetings-1a85cf695078 - he has a lot more experience with it than I do, also from the managerial point of view - and I totally agree with what he has to say about the subject.