Productive Meetings

121 One-on-one Questions

8 min read

Real questions from real one-on-one meetings. Fuel your next one-on-one meeting with one of these 121 questions.

One-on-one meetings are a dedicated space for managers and direct reports to discuss performance, personal development and feedback. All too often though, this time turns into a status update. Managers and employees alike struggle with what questions to ask in a one-on-one meeting, how to phrase them so you’re opening up the conversation and how to prompt the difficult conversations that we tend to avoid.

Here are 121 tried and true (by real managers and employees) questions to add to your next one-on-one meeting:

One-on-one questions for managers

If you’re a manager, add these questions to your one-on-one meeting agenda:

  1. What’s one thing we can do to improve the performance of the team?
  2. If you were the CEO, what’s the first thing you’d change?
  3. What’s one thing we could change about work for you that would improve your personal life?
  4. How are you?
  5. What’s something you’re proud of that happened this week? This month?
  6. What are you passionate about, personally or professionally?
  7. What’s one thing I can do right now to make work better for you?
  8. What’s something you’re really jazzed about outside of work?
  9. What has been the work highlight/lowlight from the past week?
  10. Where do you need help?
  11. Are you happy with our level of communication? How would you change it?
  12. What’s top of mind right now that we haven’t talked about yet?
  13. What do you want to learn about the company?
  14. Do you have any questions about what other team members are working on?
  15. What do you need? What could make your day-to-day easier?
  16. If you were managing the team, what would you do differently?
  17. If your were hiring manager for our team, what role would be your next hire?
  18. What do you like about my management style? What do you dislike?
  19. Who is doing a great job on the team? What have they done?
  20. Who on our team deserves a shoutout for their work and why?
  21. What’s something you’d like to share but is a little stressful to bring up in person?
  22. What is everyone around me neglecting to share with me?
  23. Am I acting like the best manager you could wish for? What could I be doing better?
  24. What do you wish I did less of? More of?
  25. What’s something past managers have done that’s inspired and motivated you?
  26. What’s something past managers have done that’s really frustrated you?
  27. What’s your outlook on next week? 
  28. Which one best describes you during the past month? 
  29. What does an ideal, productive work day look like to you? Walk me through it.
  30. What makes you excited and motivated to work on a project?
  31. What projects would you like to work on or be more involved in?
  32. What’s your least favorite part of your day-to-day at work?
  33. Do you have any questions that, if answered, would help you in your day to day? 
  34. What professional goals would you like to accomplish in the next 6 to 12 months, and what makes you say that?
  35. If I could improve one skill between this meeting and the next, which would you choose?
  36. When’s the best time to give feedback on your work?
  37. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you at work?
  38. Is your job what you expected when you accepted it?  If not, where has it differed?
  39. Are you happy in your role? What could make it better for you?
  40. What can I hold you accountable for next time we talk?
  41. How do you feel about the balance between your individual work vs. managing?
  42. How do you feel your work/life balance is? What would you want to change, if anything?
  43. Where do you think I should be focusing more of my attention?
  44. What’s a problem we have on our team that I might not know about?
  45. Is there anything that would be productive for me to re-explain to our team?
  46. Do I have anything outstanding for you that I haven’t done yet?
  47. What’s the best thing about working here?
  48. Am I providing enough clarity on our direction?
  49. Am I giving you enough feedback on your work?
  50. Where would you like me more involved in your day to day? Where would you like me involved less?
  51. What are your top priorities this week?
  52. Where has our communication faltered? Can you give me an example?
  53. What are your work and non-work highlights of the past month? 
  54. How are you feeling about your goals?
  55. What, if anything, feels harder that it should be in your day to day work?
  56. On a scale of 1-10, how has my level of support/presence been over the past month?
  57. What is one thing I could experiment with doing differently this month? 
  58. What’s one thing you’d like to do more of outside of work this coming month? 
  59. What are you least clear about, in terms of our company wide strategy and goals?
  60. How could we improve cross functional collaboration at [your company]?
  61. What other roles at [your company] do you find interesting? What skills do those roles require that you would like to work on?
  62. What’s everyone around me NOT telling me?
  63. Are there any roles on the team that you feel unclear on?
  64. What’s one thing you would recommend to improve our workplace culture?
  65. Do you find your physical work environment productive? Is there anything preventing you from being productive?
  66. What needs to change around our team meetings?
  67. Are there any goals we have on a company, team or individual level that you feel are entirely unattainable? If so, why?
  68. Are you proud of the work you do here?
  69. What else can I be doing to help progress your career?
  70. What do you like about our one-on-one meetings? What can be improved?
  71. What “soft skills” do you think I excel at most? What can I work on?
  72. What’s something you’re itchy to try that you haven’t had the time or resources to do?
  73. What, if anything, is stressing you out?

One-on-one questions for employees

  1. What’s something you feel unclear on about on my work?
  2. Is my work quality above or below average?
  3. What can I do to help improve the performance of the team?
  4. How am I doing?
  5. How can I better support you?
  6. What steps can I take right now to progress my career with the company?
  7. Who on the team needs help? How can I support them better?
  8. If I could improve one skill between this meeting and next, which would you choose?
  9. When’s the best time to get feedback on my work?
  10. What is everyone around me neglecting to share with me?
  11. How can we improve the way our team works together?
  12. Where do you think I should be focusing more of my attention?
  13. What do you wish I did less of? More of?
  14. How are we progressing on our goals as a team?
  15. What’s worrying you most?
  16. What of my skills do you find most valuable?
  17. How can I help train and support others in the team and company?
  18. Where do you see my role evolving in the next 6 months and 1 year?
  19. What big changes are coming down the pipe in the next 6 months?
  20. What do you wish I took more ownership over?
  21. What’s a skill you think I can learn that will help me do a better job?
  22. What learning and development opportunities are their within and outside of the company?
  23. If there were unlimited budget and resources, what’s the first thing you’d change for our team?
  24. What are your biggest challenges leading the team?
  25. Who in the company do you think I can learn the most from?
  26. What mentorship opportunities are there available for me?
  27. How can I improve my skills? What can I be reading? Where can I be taking classes?
  28. Do you feel like I’m a team player?
  29. How are you?
  30. What’s the next role you’re thinking of hiring for our team?
  31. How can I get more involved in the workplace culture?
  32. What skills do you think our team is lacking?
  33. Do you think I contribute enough in team meetings?
  34. How do you define a successful one-on-one, a successful team meeting?
  35. What’s worrying senior leadership right now?
  36. What qualities are most important when you’re hiring for our team?
  37. What’s an example of a situation I’ve handled well internally, a situation I’ve handled poorly?
  38. Where do you think my communication can be improved?
  39. What’s something you wish we did better as a team?
  40. What’s something we do well as a team?
  41. What are you most excited about in your day to day?
  42. What’s your biggest challenge as a people leader?
  43. Is there anything I can do more or less of that would help you?
  44. What “soft skills” do you think I excel at most? What can I work on?
  45. If there were unlimited budget and resources, what’s the first thing you’d change for our team?
  46. Who are your mentors? Who inspires you?
  47. What are we doing to make ourselves stand out from our competitors?
  48. Am I giving enough feedback to my peers?

One-on-ones create an open dialogue between managers and their direct reports. The questions above have been shared by real managers and employees who ask these questions as frequently as every week in their one-on-one meetings.

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