The Direct Report’s Guide to Meaningful One-on-Ones

How to have open and satisfying conversations with your manager

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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

🤝 What Is a One-on-One?

“Like clockwork, productivity and quality improve almost immediately when leaders, managers, and supervisors begin spending time daily in one-on-one dialogues with their direct reports to provide management basics.”

— Bruce Tulgan

🔁 Schedule a Recurring Meeting

“If you believe you can change — if you make it a habit — the change becomes real.”

— Charles Duhigg

How long should the meeting be?

Where should the meeting be?

Don’t cancel one-on-ones

👩‍🏫 Lead the One-on-One

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

— Steve Jobs

Own the agenda

Don’t let your manager take complete control

📄 Use a Shared Document

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

― Phil Jackson

Put the agenda on the doc

Structure of the doc

Shared documentation tool

Avoid information overload

🤐 What to Talk About

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

— Helen Keller


Clarify confusion

Your struggles


Information for your manager

Literally anything

“What caring means is understanding that we are not separate people at work and at home — sometimes the personal blends into the professional, and that’s ok.”

— Julie Zhuo

What not to talk about

🦜 Give Your Manager Time to Talk

“When people talk, listen completely.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Don’t take complete control

The Results: A Better Working Relationship

Written by

Words @Atlassian. Based in Sydney. I have a lot of thoughts; here are the less crazy ones.

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