One-on-One Template with 50 Questions


Having regular, effective, engaging one-on-ones (O3’s) with team members (direct reports) is an important management competency. They form the building blocks and foundation of what successful team leadership is all about.

These are more than just business meetings. O3’s are the opportunity for your direct reports to give you status updates on the things they are working on, challenges they are facing, ideas they have, goals they want to achieve, questions they need answered, and issues that are on their heart. These are, in my opinion, the most important meetings that a leader has every week.

The free template attached is the one I personally use, and have developed over the years to meet the very real, practical, front-line needs of a people manager.

It contains a section for keeping track of the information about your direct report that are personally important (birthday, family matters they choose to share, hobbies, interests).

It has a section to put their annual goals, which many companies ask people to define, but far too often then get forgotten and unused.

It has a section to track what I call “open items.” These are items that come up during your O3 that need to be resolved (a broken piece of equipment, an open issue with a vendor or co-worker, a question they are waiting on feedback from HR, etc.). Show you care, and are listening, by keeping track of these and moving them forward to each meeting until resolved.

It has a section into which you can put things to bring up at your next meeting. I copy/paste a blank meeting template for our NEXT meeting, just after finishing our current meeting. Any items that come up between now and then, get pasted into this section.

It has a section for notes taken during the actual meeting. My O3’s are primarily a time for the direct report to tell me what is on their mind. I have a section for things I want to bring up too.

It has a section for “questions” too. Included in my template are 50 questions that can easily be incorporated (not all at once!) into your meetings.

Last modified: July 29, 2023

Comments are closed.