1-1 meetings

A 1-1 (“one-on-one”) meeting is a weekly meeting between a manager and a person who directly reports to them. Every manager has a 1-1 with each of their direct reports.

The purpose of 1-1s is to:

  • Help both people achieve their OKRs
  • Identify and/or address problems that have come up
  • Get to know each other and establish rapport
  • Assist the report’s career development

How we do 1-1s

  1. In most cases, 1-1s should be weekly recurring 25-minute meetings.
  2. Create a Google Doc shared with only the manager and the direct report to keep notes from the current meeting and a list of topics to discuss next time (which can be added to throughout the week).
    • At the top of the doc, put the relevant OKRs for the direct report so they remain top of mind.
  3. Use a consistent agenda (GitLab’s suggested 1-1 agenda).
  4. Both people should be contributing to the 1-1 agenda (things to talk about). If either person is not contributing much, that is an indication of a larger problem that you need to solve.
  5. Do not wait for the 1-1 to give positive or negative feedback.
  6. To avoid diluting the meaning of and expectations for 1-1 meetings, avoid referring to a meeting that is not between a manager and direct report as a “1-1” meeting.
  7. If you have too many direct reports to have effective weekly 1-1s with all of them, that is an indication of a larger problem that you need to solve (e.g., by finding new managers for some of your reports, or prioritizing management over other tasks).