Global Leadership Blog
Effective 1-to-1 Meetings

How To Hold Rock Star 1:1 Meetings

I didn’t plan to have a 1:1 meeting with 80s rock icon Rick Springfield after a recent flight to Boston, but the chance encounter made my day. I left that brief interaction feeling enthusiastic, motivated by his perseverance, and connected to a creative world, I’m passionate about.

I mention that, because “feeling connected” should be one of the key objectives for our 1:1 encounters with others. We all know what it feels like to come out of a meeting and feel “blah”; connectedness is the juice that creates enthusiasm. Particularly when meeting with employees, the time may not result only in fun stories and creative discussion, but there is no reason these meetings can’t be motivating.

Why 1:1 Meetings Matter

You wouldn’t drive your car on an empty tank of gas. Likewise, you don’t want your direct report performing on an empty tank support-wise. It is tempting to see the 1:1 as a routine obligation with a checklist of status updates. Resist that temptation and build a meeting plan that edifies the employee as much (or more) than it informs you. Keep this proportion in mind:

• The meeting should be 80% employee driven
• The meeting should be 20% manager driven

Plan Your 1:1 Meeting Approach

Effective 1:1 meetings do not happen spontaneously (although they should have their spontaneous moments). Set aside a 30-minute block of time. Have your employee prepare the agenda and send it to you 24 hours in advance so each of you has time to prepare. You may need to empower your employee to take a role in setting up these meetings. Give them examples of the types of agenda items they could include: questions, celebrations, career discussions, etc.

Be Curious and Unconventional

Be genuinely inquisitive about what makes your employee tick. Consider non-traditional ways of conducting your 1:1’s. You can be like Steve Jobs and conduct walking meetings, grab coffee or play ping-pong.

If you are part of a virtual team, you can (and should) still do 1:1’s. Use video whenever possible. Also, keep your employees apprised of your whereabouts – you might be able to set up the occasional in-person meeting when you’re both traveling to the same location.

Ban “Everything’s Fine”

If you are stuck on ways to draw your employee out, consider one of these 101 Questions to ask in One on Ones. For example, the question “How could we improve the ways our team works together?” is highly likely to fend off an “everything’s fine” response.

When The Meeting Ends

Your employee may not feel as elated after your 1:1 meeting as I did after my chance encounter with Rick Springfield but they should leave feeling inspired and motivated to be part of your team, to give it their all on projects, and to pursue their career.

Human touch and creativity in 1:1 meetings pays off in ways that will make you both look and feel like rock stars.

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson


What information do we collect?

We collect information from you when you place an order, subscribe to our newsletter, respond to a survey or fill out a form.
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number or credit card information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Like most websites, we use cookies and/or web beacons to enhance your experience, gather general visitor information, and track visits to our website. Please refer to the ‘do we use cookies?’ section below for information about cookies and how we use them.

What do we use your information for?

Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:


. To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
. To improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
. To improve customer service (your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
. To process transactions . Your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.
. To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature
. To send periodic emails


The email address you provide for order processing, may be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order, in addition to receiving occasional company news, updates, related product or service information, etc.

Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or access your personal information.
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.

After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be stored on our servers.

Do we use cookies?

Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computers hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.

We use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may contract with third-party service providers to assist us in better understanding our site visitors. These service providers are not permitted to use the information collected on our behalf except to help us conduct and improve our business.

If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the telephone.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us via moc.l1556165467iamg@1556165467CLLgn1556165467itlus1556165467noCno1556165467smaL1556165467.