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100 One-on-One meeting questions for managers

The best managers and leaders know about the importance of meeting regularly with their team members. It fosters a stronger and more engaged team, builds better relationships, and sets the foundation for success.

"90 minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate's work for 2 weeks, or for 80+ hours"
- Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel.

However, even if you know the benefits of one-on-one meetings, it can be hard to come up with questions and topics to discuss during your sessions. That's why we curated a list of 100 one-on-one meeting questions to ask your employees and have meaningful 1-on-1s.
100 One-on-One meeting questions for managers
We split them into categories so that it's easier for you to navigate the list.

Getting to know each other

  1. How are your things going outside of work? How was your weekend?

  2. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  3. Who's someone you really admire?

  4. What's your favorite place you've ever visited?

  5. When is your next vacation? What do you plan to do?

  6. What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?

  7. What's something interesting/fun you want to do in the next year that you've never done before?

  8. What was your first job?

  9. Any recent interesting advice/information you've heard?

  10. Did you see any good movies lately you'd recommend?

About working together

  1. What is an ideal, productive day at work for you? When are you most productive?

  2. What are your superpowers? What do you think you're best at?

  3. What's the best way for us to communicate? In-person / phone / video calls / emails?

  4. How do you prefer to receive feedback and praise (privately or publicly)?

  5. Who in the company would you like to learn from? What do you want to learn?

  6. Is there anybody in the team that you find it challenging to work with? Can you tell me why?

  7. What area of the company/information would you like to learn more about?

  8. Who are your best friends at work?

Job satisfaction

  1. Are you happy at work? What makes you say that?

  2. Are you happy with your recent work? Why or why not?

  3. Can you name three things we can do to help you?

  4. What is the best accomplishment you had recently? Do you feel appreciated for it?

  5. Do you feel challenged at work? Are you learning new things?

  6. Do you feel like you're growing in your role? What makes you say that?

  7. Do you feel overworked, under-worked, or just the right workload?

  8. What's your happiness level, 1 to 5?

  9. How do you feel about your role? Your project?

  10. How do you feel your work/life balance is right now?

  11. Do you feel you're productive? How could we help you be more productive?

  12. If you could work on anything for the next month, what would it be? What makes you say that?

  13. What are you most excited/worried about at work?

  14. What do you enjoy the most in your current role?

  15. What drives you? What motivates you to come to work each day?

  16. What feedback/praises have you been getting about your recent work?

  17. What frustrates you about your current work?

  18. Hypothetically, what could convince you to leave for a job somewhere else?

  19. What's a recent situation you wish you handled differently? What would you change?

  20. What's the best/worst part of your job?

Feedback about team and company

  1. What aspects of our team culture do you wish you could change?

  2. Are there any problems or issues in the team that I should know about?

  3. Are you uncomfortable giving any of your team members constructive criticism? If so, why?

  4. Do you feel supported by other team members? What makes you say that?

  5. Do you have a clear understanding of expectations from you? What makes you say that?

  6. Has anyone on the team ever made you feel uncomfortable recently? What happened?

  7. How do you feel about the company's future overall? What makes you say that?

  8. How would you describe our company culture? What sort of person would be a good fit here?

  9. How would you rate our communication as a team?

  10. If we could improve in any way as a team, how could we do it?

  11. If you were CEO, what's the first thing you'd change?

  12. What are we doing that you think we should stop/start doing, and why?

  13. What area of the company/information would you like to learn more about?

  14. What do you like about working here? What's not fun about working here?

  15. What do you think about the amount of feedback we exchange in our team? Is that enough?

  16. Which areas would you like more feedback on? From whom?

  17. Which company values do you like the most? Which the least? Why?

  18. Who do you admire within the company, and why?

    Asking for feedback

    1. Do you feel you're getting enough feedback? Why or why not?

    2. What is the best feedback that you've gotten in the past month?

    3. Which areas would you like more or less direction from me on your work?

    4. What type of feedback is most valuable to you?

    5. What type of feedback are you missing?

    6. Do you feel overworked, under-worked, or just the right workload?

    7. What areas of your job do you find challenging that getting more support would help?

    8. What could I do today to help you with your long term goals?

    9. How can I improve my communication or collaboration with you?

    10. What feedback do you have for me? What could I do better?

    11. What would you recommend me to start or stop doing?

    12. What would you like me to start, stop, or continue doing?

    13. How can I make your days more fulfilling and productive?

    14. What is the one thing that you need the most from me?

    15. At what point in the last weeks were you most frustrated at work? What can I do to help you manage that?

      Career discussion

      1. Which projects would you like to work on if you were given the opportunity?

      2. Do you feel you are learning at work? What are the new things you learned lately / want to learn?

      3. Do you feel we're helping you advance your career at a pace you like?

      4. Do you have the tools you need to reach your goals?

      5. If you could create your ideal position, how would it differ from what you are doing today?

      6. Is there a way I can help you develop your skills that I might not be aware of?

      7. Please, share with me about something new you learned since we met last.

      8. What additional training or education would you like?

      9. Which work that you do you're most proud of?

      10. What are your big dreams in life? Are you making progress on them?

      11. What areas of your job do you find challenging that getting better skills at would help?

      12. What big questions do you have about your career in the future?

      13. What other roles/areas here could you see yourself in?

      14. What skills would you like to develop right now?

      15. What work are you doing here that you feel is most in line with your long term goals?

      16. What's one thing we could do today to help you with your long term goals?

      17. Where do you see your career in 1 to 3 years? What do you want to have accomplished?

      Setting goals and expectations

      1. Let's look at the company and team goals.

      2. Do you have any questions about them? Any suggestions?

      3. Do you feel you/your team is contributing to company goals?

      4. Let's discuss your goals that would be aligned with the company objectives and your career/growth plans.

      5. Let's talk about your personal development goals.

      6. Do you have the tools you need to reach your goals?

      7. How can we help achieve your goals?

      Asking feedback about one-on-one meetings

      1. How do you feel about the frequency of our one-on-one meetings?

      2. What is the most valuable for you about our one-on-one?

      3. What are your impressions of our one-on-ones? How could we make them more useful for you?

      4. What are your top takeaways from our meeting?

      5. Are our one-on-one meetings a good use of your time?
      © Copyright: the list compiled from many public sources, including books by Julie Zhuo, Ben Horowitz, Andy Grove, and Github list of 1on1 questions by VGraupera.

      Summary

      Use the curated questions above to make your 1-on-1s even more productive and resultful. However, be flexible to adjust them for your team needs, since each conversation is unique.

      To learn more about one-on-one meetings, check out this guide for managers.

      Are you looking for a tool to help you collaborate on shared agendas, notes, curated templates, and much more? Btw, we also have most of the questions above as templates and suggested topics. Check out a free tool to manage your 1-on-1s — Plai.
      30 May / 2020
      Author: Andriy Bas
      CO-FOUNDER & CEO PLAI

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