Here at SHIFT we have a long tradition 1:1 meetings (which are exactly what they sound like, meeting one-on-one!). We like to ensure all members of the team have face time with managers to express concerns, work through problems, or just get to know each other better. As my team has grown and more of these meetings pop up on my calendar, it’s become increasingly important to me to make sure that it’s time well spent. Here are some rules I keep in mind to make the most of each 1:1 meeting: 

Have an agenda

Much like any client meeting, it’s essential to have an agenda for your 1:1 meetings. When meeting with my VP, the agenda comes down to my notes on a post it that I’ve captured throughout the week, but it helps guide the meeting, cuts down on email back and forth, and ensures that I get the guidance I need to do my job better. Agendas don’t have to be formal, but they should be well thought out and reviewed ahead of each meeting to make the most of the time. 

Let the meeting flow

While the agenda is important for 1:1 meetings, I have found that at times it’s important to just listen to my team members talk. Sometimes asking them an open-ended question, for example, “what’s your biggest current challenge?” or “what client programs are starting to feel stale?” will help spur conversation that uncovers problems that may have previously surfaced.


Conversations are helpful for airing concerns and validating the work of the team, but it’s important to make sure that you are following up issues that arise during the meetings. Whether it’s sending an article relevant to the topic, or circling back later in the week to see if an issue was resolved, it’s essential that following any 1:1 you jot down a few notes on what was discussed and what action you are taking to address it.

1:1 meetings are an important aspect to working with and retaining a team. If you can make time to meet with every team member at least once a month you will likely reap the rewards of a happier team that feels more informed, supported and understood.

What tips and tricks do you employ to make the most of your 1:1 meetings? Comment below!

Jen Toole
Account Director 


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