I’m not sure when the “1 on 1” meeting came into favor. I know when I started working back in the stone age we didn’t have “1 on 1” meetings. Or at least we didn’t call them that. Somewhere along the way in my prior company I adopted holding 1 on 1 meetings with my direct reports. I think we all truly hated doing them but felt compelled to hold them.
What I find interesting is when we were in the start-up mode (the first 5 years) we never held 1 on 1 meetings - and low and behold – we all knew what was going on and stuff got done. Those days were collaborative efforts and everyone knew the goals and objectives of the business. But by year 10 and 200+ employees, 1 on 1s crept into the agenda and somehow we all felt the need.
So what’s the purpose of a 1 on 1 meeting? When we step out of the meeting, what should we be charged with? Who is the meeting for and who should set the agenda? Should there even be an agenda? Is it a time to personally connect with your coworker or a time to get a recap of projects?
I like the suggestions from Atlassian’s blog on this. Spoiler: it’s not for status updates!