Information and blogs from SeJo IT

Rules of an 1 on 1

Mon 04 March 2019 management / 1on1 / rules /

This blogpost describes my rules for a 1on1. I've assembled these throughout my career and mostly by understanding what my managers missed. I've published this on Linkedin a while ago as I couldn't be bothered to setup a new environment at that time on my own servers.

Disclaimer: this is based on my experiences and career. This is mainly documented as an example

In my career path I've come across 1 on 1's of all kinds. The biggest annoyance I had during those experiences was that my 1 on 1's tended to be technical syncs.

If you manage people, following up their technical progress and their achievements or issues are really important. However this is mainly pushing back the real reason for a 1 on 1.

In order to not make the same mistakes I've setup a ruleset and a general playbook I follow with all my direct reports during their 1 on 1.

A 1 on 1 is a meeting (maximum 1 hour) between a manager and an employee. This is usually the direct manager, but can be done across hierarchy when needed/asked.

The goal of a 1 on 1 is to improve the employee's work experience and provide a guidance on how he is doing within the team/company in regards to his targets/objectives.


The main goal of the 1 on 1 are:

During a 1 on 1, we only take notes of action points, we don't note down any other items discussed.

A 1 on 1 is ended by positive news and remarks by the manager, never negative items.


Go over your (as manager) action points from last 1 on 1 and verify whether they have been fulfilled to satisfaction of the employee.

Go over the employee's action points, and discuss the status.

Reiterate over the discussed action points so everyone is on board and optionally set a new date.

Always exit the meeting room smiling!

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