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One-on-One Meeting Chronological Format

Structure your one-on-one meetings based on past learnings, present priorities, and future opportunities to gain a full perspective of your direct reports work.

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Past, present, and future. That’s the structure covered in this one-on-one meeting template.

Instead of structuring your one-on-one meeting based on topics, you can focus on past wins and challenges, present priorities, and future opportunities.

Let’s call this the chronological one-on-one meeting format.

What’s inside this One-on-One Meeting Chronological Format template:

1 Recent wins and learnings

Kelly Riggs, a leadership coach and author of the book 1-on-1 Management, argues that you should always start your one-on-one by asking direct reports about their most recent challenges.

“My one-on-one meetings for 30 years have started with one very simple phrase: Tell me about last week. I know it sounds ridiculously simplistic on the surface, but trust me, there is a lot behind the curtain,” says Riggs.

Another great way to start the meeting is by asking your employees about something they mentioned in your previous one-on-one. For instance, if they said that they were frustrated about something, make sure to bring it up again and ask them if there’s any progress with that.

This will show your reports that you take these conversations seriously, are actively listening, and want to help them as much as you can.

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2 Priorities

After addressing what happened in the previous week, you can move on to the present one. Your agenda can include questions like:

– What projects and goals are you currently working on?

– Is there anything I can do this week to help you achieve your goals?

3 Opportunities

Last but not least, talk about the future, the goals and things that your direct report might be feeling anxious about or looking forward to. Some questions you can ask include:

– What’s on your to-do list this coming week?

– What areas of development are you planning to work on?

– What resources can I provide for you between now and the next time we meet?

There you have it! This simple one-on-one meeting template will allow you to focus on past learnings, present priorities, and future opportunities.

This one-on-one meeting template was originally published in The Art of the One-on-One Meeting: The definitive guide to the most misunderstood and yet powerful tool for managers.

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About the author

Georges-Antoine Assi

  • Brittany Forsyth
    Former Chief Talent Officer, Shopify

    Fellow has been a game changer for us. I love how lightweight and easy it is to use. It intuitively builds into my day-to-day rhythm, and the natural flow of Shopify, making it so much simpler to have valuable conversations.”

  • John Gleeson
    VP of Customer Success, Motive

    “I've never seen an app spread so quickly. Within a few weeks, there were hundreds of people using Fellow to follow up on the action items that inevitably come out of every meeting. It's been a game-changer for our team.”

  • Sabrina Leblanc
    Director of Sales, SurveyMonkey

    “Fellow has increased my productivity and has resulted in more collaborative 1:1s & team meetings. My team loves capturing their own agenda items. Getting prompted to add talking points is super handy when jumping from one meeting to the next.”

  • Liam Martin
    Co-founder, Time Doctor

    “Fellow has completely changed the way we manage meetings at Time Doctor. With 100+ people in 32 different countries, Fellow was one of the tools that took our remote meetings from confusion to clarity.

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