1:1 Template & Questions for Direct-Reports: Clarity & Care

Managing-Leaders as they engage and connect with their direct-reports


  • This is the direct-reports meeting, position the 1:1 as their meeting (not yours).
  • You listen, clarify, coach, and create a safe space for impact and transparency.
  • And, be sure to take some notes for appropriate follow-up; and demonstrated interest.
  • Schedule a regular cadence of 1:1s. They should not be ad-hoc, or when there is an “issue”. And, if you must cancel or reschedule do so within 3 days’ time.
Update on how you are doing.
  • Anything new/exciting for you—personally or professionally—over the past two weeks?
Success for you since we last spoke? Newest issue/challenge you face?
  • How are you addressing the issue/challenge?
  • What support do you need? By when?
Follow-up items I’d like to address from our last 1:1:   Projects, goals, accounts, or questions that you’d like to discuss with me:   Reinforcing feedback, I want to provide:
  • A behavior, success, achievement you, as leader, are affirming or reinforcing.
  • At our last team meeting, you did this____________very well? That kind of behavior helps all of us to be more “open minded”.
  • Your attention to the detail of this latest project report helped me to appreciate the complexity; thank you.
Redirecting feedback, I want to provide:
  • A behavior, shortcoming, or norm that needs attention/improvement, so the direct report thrives and feels more confident.
  • I’ve noticed lately at our huddles that. you aren’t contributing the way you usually do; it comes across as disinterested. Anything going on?
  • Your “tone” with others on the team has been sharp lately; can you talk to me about that? What can I do to help?
Managing-Leader Seeking Feedback: Feedback you’d like to offer me for my own development as your colleague and leader?
  • The expectation is that the direct-report always has to provide some form of feedback before they leave the meeting with you—the managing leader.
Finally, how can I be most helpful to you over the next 7-10 days?
  • An obstacle I can attempt to remove for you—or, perhaps the team?
Other Key Questions to Assist in a 1:1
  • What are you most concerned about at the moment—perhaps a frustration or customer or unfinished project?
  • In the unit or team, what are we not doing that we should be doing?
  • How are our Team Norms assisting with your own contribution and safety with others?
  • How are you feeling about your contribution to the organization—or our scorecard?
  • What has been a key learning for you from this past week?
  • What’s a new opportunity for you, or us, at this time?
  • How did you equip another team member to better succeed?
  • What do you need to succeed over the next two weeks?
  • Anything else you want to express/discuss?