An In-Depth Guide to 1:1s
Grab your mug and have your best 1:1 yet. Use this guide to get the most out of your next conversation.
How often should I hold 1:1s?
What should 1:1s cover?
Here’s a formula that we put together based on best practices we’ve seen across a range of organizations:
“Leading Highly Effective 1:1s” is part of Hone’s Core Manager Track, and is also available as a standalone class. Experience Hone for yourself.
10% Relationship Building
- How are you feeling?
- How is everything?
- What’s something fun you did last weekend/have coming up this weekend
- What have you been watching/reading lately?
Then, move onto the core of the 1:1 and spend about a quarter of your time discussing wins. Questions could include:
- What were your wins this week/since our last meeting?
- What were you most proud of?
- What about this makes it such a big win for you
- What did you enjoy most about it?
- What could have made it even better?
Next, spend about a quarter of your 1:1 reviewing frustrations in order to understand if your direct report is annoyed or down about something. You could ask:
- What has frustrated you this week/since our last meeting?
- What can be/could have been done to avoid this frustration?
- How long have you felt this way?
- How can I help?
Once your report has had a chance to reflect and decompress, it’s time to talk about their work and set concrete goals. To gain insight into their workstreams, you might ask:
- What are your current priorities?
- What do you want to achieve this week/before our next meeting?
- What blockers do you have?
- What support do you need from me? From others?
15% Feedback & Recap
Finally, use the remaining time to offer your direct report feedback via the SBIF model (more below), then recap the 1:1. Note that feedback can be positive, constructive, or both. And while you’re giving feedback, also use this time to ask for feedback for yourself – what can you be doing better as a manager?
- Give feedback (positive or critical or both) using SBIF.
- Check in on previous feedback.
- Ask for feedback – What can I do better as your manager?
- Recap any next steps identified together.
What is the SBIF model?
SBIF stands for Situation-Behavior-Impact-Feedback. This model helps you deliver better feedback by focusing on specific behaviors and situations, thus minimizing people taking feedback personally.