What are your favorite questions to ask in your 1:1s

Whether you're an individual contributor, or a manager yourself, I'm curious to hear how you like to structure your weekly 1:1 meetings. I think it'd give me great insights as to how other Elphas take advantage of these conversations :)

Thanks in advance!

tiffanyyhchang's profile thumbnail
I just started having 1-1s with my team of eight (8) Developers and QA Testers this week, along with my boss (CTO). I call them "Weekly Touchpoints" because 2-1 sounded unnecessarily intimidating. I referred to this article from Radical Candor: https://www.radicalcandor.com/effective-one-on-ones/When I have my 1-1s with my boss, I bring up any topics that come to mind where I'd appreciate his input or even a sanity check at the very least. Topics range from tactical to more strategic and time horizons range from short- to long-term.
annamiller's profile thumbnail
Hi Rina, In my 1:1s with my manager and others, I ask about strategic goals they are working on/excited about, also about any recent tactical work questions that arise, and in general get an idea of how the team is doing and where I can contribute.
karenweeks's profile thumbnail
Hi! I always encourage managers to start with some broader questions first, things like....On a scale of 1-10, how was your week? What would make it a 10? What are some hurdles you have run into that you need help breaking through? What is a win or something that went well that we can leverage in the future? What can I be doing differently (or start doing) to help you with your goals and development?Then I dive into projects, KPI's, etc. But often managers learn a lot more in those opening questions then just in the project update conversations!
iynna's profile thumbnail
When I report to a higher-up: I love to go over what I am currently doing, what's going well, what might be more challenging and what my plan of action is, and I ask them what are other opportunities we are after (that's basically my way to know what else might be going on that I can take on)As a manager: it is not so different, I want a report on what's currently happening, how we are doing on things, where they need support (if at all), what's something they've learned over the last week, something that they are proud of, and what is something they want to work on (that might be the same thing repeated week over week but it's a model of accountability so I know what to look out for as I mentor them)
coflaherty's profile thumbnail
Love this! In my 1:1s I mostly spoke with my manager about the status of projects and hurdles I was facing, but I like your point about asking about other opportunities (though I wonder if that can be tricky if you have a big workload).
iynna's profile thumbnail
Nope! Never been an issue, I get very busy and that’s how I thrive honestly. Additionally, this is because trust has already been established ie They’ve seen me not dropping the ballIf you feel comfortable taking on more tasks as a way to grow in the org and personally, I highly recommend you try :)
NicoleKahansky's profile thumbnail
Pretty consistent questions I ask as a direct report on a weekly basis:- what are you most looking forward to this week?- Is there anything I can take off your plate?- What, if anything, stresses you out about my work? What gives you confidence?We always try to have a balanced conversation — not just focused on work, but also growth, motivation and communication. I actually only started having regular 1:1s about 6 months ago, when I started at Hypercontext — which is a software that's very focused on helping make 1:1s better (so I admit I'm a bit biased!!) But people (including myself) seem to find this resource on 121 questions to ask in 1:1s super helpful to pull inspiration from: https://hypercontext.com/blog/meetings/121-questions-for-one-on-one-meetings
amara's profile thumbnail
Thanks for sharing! This is quite nice
MWags's profile thumbnail
As both a manager and an individual contributor, I always favored setting 90 day goals (January, April, July and October) and organizing my 1:1's around progress on those goals. So my base format would be:---Top Line 90 Day Targets (Just for Reference)---- Current 30 Day Targets (Progress)- Last week post mortem (what went well/could have been better)- Top 5 priorities for the week (Manager to confirm priority)- Coming week pre-mortem (Any challenges I foresee)Of course we also always had some space for the unexpected -- these were usually so top of mind they were unavoidable. But this format was great as a base because it effectively gave the manager everything they needed when pushing for promotions and raises for their direct report.