Two adult in a one-on-one communicaton
Two adults in one-on-one communication. Photo Credit:

    A meeting with a staff member can be formal (part of the way the unit is formed) or informal (arranged to deal with a particular issue raised by either side). Use one-to-ones to check performance and find out if counselling or coaching is needed.

Meeting Formally

There are no fixed guidelines for an informal get-together, but for formal one-to-one meetings, the rules are the same for any other meeting. Get to the point quickly, stick to the agenda, sum up at the end and make sure that the other side agrees to the summary. In any one-to-one meeting, the relationship between the manager and the subordinate has a tendency to move into one of dominance and submission. To make meetings productive, listen to the other person, aim for rational discussion, and be courteous. Remember however that a certain degree of confrontation may be perfectly healthy – and also unavoidable.

Being Prepared

For regular meetings, preparation can make all the difference between a satisfactory or unsatisfactory outcome. Some companies stage one-to-ones between superiors and subordinates every two weeks to discuss problems, define objectives and deliver written performance reviews. For these one-to-ones, the managers distribute the reviews a few days beforehand. This preparation time gives the staff a chance to consider their response.

Coaching Staff

Good managers must be good coaches who know how to encourage staff to raise their performance at work, improve their knowledge, and realize their full potential. Coaching is inherent in the whole management process and should not be confined simply to performance reviews and annual appraisals. As a manager, take the initiative by setting staff goals, by regularly encouraging staff to achieve higher standards, ad by discussing any strengths or weaknesses. As the people being coached gain in confidence and performance, they will take on more responsibility for setting personal targets for improving at work.

Counselling Staff

Problems that arise either from work or from personal life can be helped by counselling. But unless you are a trained counsellor or have considerable experience, leave this to a professional, who will help people to confront and resolve their problems. If an employee has become unhappy over a situation, offer to arrange a counselling interview, and be sympathetic. The counsellor will try to help the individual get to the root of any problem. Give practical support when you can. If time off work will help, for example, make sure that it is available.


  1. Ask all those invited to a meeting to come well prepared.
  2. Remember that a “good meeting” is one that has good results.
  3. Listen to your staff. Coaching or counselling may provide solutions to discontent.
  4. Be aware of your staff’s problems, because they affect performance.

Bernard Taiwo

I am Management strategist, Editor and Publisher.

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Fri Sep 6 , 2019
    Most managers feel they spend too many times in meetings. However, a well-run meeting can be a productive way to communicate. When you are chairing a meeting, stay in control of the proceedings, and never let arguments get out of hand. Preparing For A Meeting When preparing for a meeting, […]
people in conference room

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