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1:1 Meetings with your boss

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

#TLDR: Four points to make your meetings with boss effective

In the last blog post, we discussed how to make 1:1 with our direct reports effective. Let's turn the tables now and discuss how to make our 1:1 with boss more effective.

In general, it is safe to assume that your boss's time is valuable and you are just one of his/her many direct reports. So, keeping the discussions focused and succinct is an imperative for successful 1:1 with your boss. Here are some considerations for a better 1:1 w your manager.

  1. How can I make my boss look good? - This is not brown-nosing your boss or being a yes-man/woman for the boss. This is about being aligned with what your boss i.e. your function wants to achieve and also being part of that core effort. It is good to cover your contributions to department goals in your 1:1. Use concrete and recent achievements rather than subjective statements. Use 'I' to highlight your contributions and 'we' to show team efforts.

  2. What can I do better? - Take the opportunity to check-in with your boss and seek feedback on your performance. Doing such regular (about once a quarter) check-ins helps you to stay connected with your manager, provides short-cycle feedback and opportunities to correct the course if needed and most importantly, avoids year end surprises in annual performance reviews.

  3. How is our company doing? - Keep up to date with company's financial performance and industry news. It shows your business interest and might also provide you some early indications of potential changes that your manager is aware of. Such competitive intelligence is also helpful to identify future career opportunities.

  4. I need your guidance on ... Most managers love to provide guidance to their direct reports. It allows them to match their experience with your challenges. Also, it makes your manager part of your efforts and a natural ally.

What has been your experience of 1:1 with your manager? What content helps you? Let us know here in comments.

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