I've been doing 1on1s for quite a while now. My (one) direct report loved them to start with. Brought his notepad along and it went great. However lately I found that he no longer brings his notepad, I have to drag things out of him, and because of this find I forget to take notes and need to revisit the 1on1 afterwards to get most of the notes on paper.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to breathe a bit more life into the 1on1s?

aspiringceo's picture

Based on my experience on giving and receiving one on ones I would say that when things start going downhill its usually one or a combination of the following

[list]Breakdown in 1on1 relationship
Lack of progress
Lack of willingness
Lack of direction
Poor communications[/list:u]

If you think it may be one of the above it may be worth discussing it with him


trandell's picture

Give him feedback. You can start by saying, "I notice you stopped taking notes in our one on ones and you are less forthcoming with information lately. That makes me worry you are not remembering to take away the thing you need to and it makes me work harder than I should in our relationship." You need to start the dialogue and see what comes out to get to the bottom of this.

Mark's picture
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Sounds like it's not a one on one problem... but a communication problem. Something's going on...

So, re-invest in them, as indicated above, certainly with feedback.

And, if you get little change, ask directly. "Hey, you used to be more into these. Lately you're not working as hard at them. What's up?"


timov's picture

Thanx for the pointers :). As all suggested a lack of communication, and communication is a two way street, I started to look a little more critacally at my own preparations, and I'll be honest... found they have slipped too. I wiil make sure to be better prepared for the next one (Wednesday) and raise the issues with him then.

I guess I better go back and listen to the 1on1 casts and give my own enthousiasm a boost before then too ;)

sfonseca's picture

timov -
Love to know how it went on Wednesday... any update?


timov's picture

I really should have replied earlier, but after last week's 1on1 I decided I wasn't going to just yet.

Basically here's what happened. Last week's 1on1 went swimmingly. My direct had loads to tell me and we had issues keeping it down to 30 minutes. I figured then that the dip might have been caused by other things that his disinterest, so decided to wait a bit and see how this week's (yesterday) went.

At that point I needed to get my PMR stuff sorted (yes I know should have started 8 weeks ago as per MT standards ;) but as I still haven't got objectives for last year...) I was following along the notes from the site, compressing 8 weeks of work into 2 days and got to the stage which was going over 1on1s I had with my directs. To my horror I found that it wasn't just my direct that had stopped taking nots, several of my own forms where very sparse, one being blank even :oops:

So yesterday I brought my concerns to the table in the 1on1, asked him if the 1on1s where still working in his eyes and his views where basically:
- They are still working, and he loves them
- The lack of notes on his part is mainly cause he doesn't want to take notes, he gets the info he needs/wants and get his "gripes" aired
- The dip probably wasn't a dip as much as us rehashing the same project we where involved in that was sucking away our time. As we both knew what was going on and it was a repetative conversation...the notes got lost on the way to the paper.

We ended the 1on1 with a recommitment to the 1on1s for this year. Especially now that he finally has objectives and I informed him on how we can use 1on1s to make sure he is on track with them, so we can "prove" we are more then just effective next year, we are all "rejuvinated" and rearing to go :)

thanx all for your suggestions

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

Congratulations on moving through the lull! Glad it went so well.

Again, my apologies.