A Simple Reusable One-On-One Plan, Part 2

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Anonymous

You don’t have time to rigorously plan each one-on-one. Adopt a universal approach that protects time and maximizes opportunities.

A good one-on-one plan has you listening more and talking less. Image of a curious dog.

A simple reusable one-on-one plan, part 2:

Items #1 to #3 are posted here.

#4: Ask questions. Listen more than talk.

You want engagement, but people nod and disengage when you ramble on. They’ll let you fill time with irrelevant drivel and feel relieved when they leave your office.

Talking is thinking when conditions are right.

Someone said that you don’t learn when you talk. When experience speaks, listen. But talking is thinking.

When you say, “And what else,” after someone shared something they know, you create a learning opportunity.

A good one-on-one plan increases engagement.

Zip your lip after asking a question. Silence gives power to questions.

Empowering includes preparing people to take control. Image of two cloud figures talking.

#5. Don’t fix.

The more you fix the more you have to fix. Give people space to solve their own challenges.

Share insights and suggestions reluctantly.

People stop thinking for themselves when you think for them.

#6. Create goals.

A good one-on-one plan always includes goals. Say encouraging things, but always seek improvement. There are two goals to consider.

  1. Personal development goals.
  2. Operational goals.

Prioritize personal development goals. Don’t worry, people who grow improve their ability to deliver results.

Lousy one-on-ones focus exclusively on operations.

Have walking one-on-ones. Movement makes connecting more comfortable. Image of gears.

#7. Challenge and support.

Challenge with two questions.

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how challenging is this goal?
  2. How might you nudge your challenge-number up a little?

Ask the above questions occasionally, not every meeting.

Support people by offering resources, training, mentoring, or coaching.

Challenge and support include action and accountability.

Establish accountability by asking, “What do you want me to ask you in our next one-on-one.”

What suggestions do you have for a good one-on-one plan?

Still curious:

5 Energizing Conversation Starters for One-on-Ones

Solution Saturday: Stop Giving So Many Solutions


One-on-one meetings: 4 ways to make them more meaningful