Maximize Your Time: 3 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Every One-on-One

Most people just show up to One-on-Ones with no plan — what a wasted opportunity.

Instead, be intentional with how you spend your time and what you’d like to get out of it. Plan your calendar. Design your time.

Here are 3 tips that will change your approach to One-on-Ones:

List out everyone you need to have One-on-Ones with and set a cadence for each: weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc.

Outside of your directs, align frequency with where you need to build the strongest relationships and alliances, and where you need to team to achieve outcomes across the company. If you are driving change management / transformation, include the key stakeholders for the change along with the communication strategy.

The frequency for partners and stakeholders will evolve based on your priorities.

Use the time differently depending on who you’re meeting with.

With directs, switch between business impact conversations, development conversations, and themes that allow you to spot patterns. Use the time for coaching, development, alignment, and problem solving — not for program updates. With peers, build rapport, ensure you are aligned on shared outcomes, collaborate on strategic initiatives, and warm the room for broader group discussions.

With your boss, soundboard on key items, provide head’s up on initiatives you’re driving and challenges you’re working through, and share anything that needs to be unblocked or escalated.

Send agendas at least 24 hours in advance.

Give the attendee a heads up on the topics you’d like to cover, and an opportunity to contribute their own. Keep a running list of agendas so you can spot patterns and make sure you’re closing the loop. Recap action items and always follow through on next steps.

Leveraging One-on-Ones to move forward on key initiatives will amplify your impact tenfold.



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Rachel Kobetz

I love shaping product cultures that connect people and make technology more human. SVP + Global Head of Design at Expedia Group. Prev. BofA, Amazon, + Samsung