Asking These 10 Questions Will Improve Your 1:1 Meetings

The best managers know that 1:1 meetings, when done correctly, can unlock potential and improve the performance of their team

April 30, 2022
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There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

The best managers know that 1:1 meetings, when done correctly, can unlock potential and improve performance for their team members. This is a valuable time for managers and their team members to develop their professional relationship. However, to make sure the meetings are not a waste of time, managers need to make their meetings structured, purposeful and efficient. 

There are tools you can use to set up an efficient 1:1 meeting, like Assembly’s 1:1 workflow where you can edit your 1:1 meeting template to suit your needs. Along with the right tool, you should also be asking the right questions to get the most out of your meetings. 

So here are ten questions (in no particular order) you should ask to make your one-on-one meetings productive and efficient for you and your team members.  

What are your top priorities (for the week)?

It’s good to get right to the point. Asking your team member about their top priorities can help you determine what they are focusing on. If your team member isn’t prioritizing their to-dos, then this can be an opportunity for you to help them. 

What are your short term and long term goals?

Employees who are actively involved by management in their professional development are four times more likely to be engaged. Follow-up this question with how you can help them achieve those goals. 

Is there anything you need help with?

We can all use a helping hand, but sometimes it’s not easy to ask for help. By initiating with this question not only do you make it easier to ask for help but also set yourself as a manager who is supportive and cooperative! 

How do you feel about the next three months?

This is a great question to get feedback on current and upcoming projects. It can also reveal how much the team member is in sync with the plans of the team. If they’re not sure what’s happening, it’s time to improve communication!  

How is life outside of work?

There is definitely more to life than work! This is an important but often neglected question to ask during 1:1 meetings. Show that you care about them as a person, not just an employee, by asking about their life outside of the office. 

What has been the work highlight/lowlight (this week)?

Learning about your team member’s wins and areas of opportunity can help you be a better, more engaged manager. This is also a great opportunity to offer recognition, feedback or suggestions, depending on their answer. 

What’s one thing we can do to improve the performance of the team?
This question will do two things: get feedback from your team member AND give them an opportunity to be involved. Asking for input like this will show that your a manager who listens and wants to make their team is set up to do their best work. 

Who is doing a great job on the team and what did they do? 

Employee recognition is one of the most important drivers of company culture and employee retention. As a leader, you can’t see everything that is going on but your team members can share team successes and help you better recognize good work. 

What do you like about our 1:1 meetings; what can be improved? 

Every person has their own style of communication, so it’s important that managers are adapting their 1:1 meetings towards their team members. The best way to do this is to simply ask them for their thoughts. 

How is my communication with you and the team? Can I improve? 

Communication is vital for any manager, and you want that communication to be open. Ask your team members for feedback to show that you’re a manager who listens and wants to improve. 

Make the Most of Your 1:1 Meetings

To make sure your 1:1 meetings are useful, productive and provides accountability you need the right tool. Assembly’s 1:1 workflow provides managers the ability to document goals and KPIs, create and edit talking points, collect feedback, and more. You can learn more about this workflow and how you can use it to improve your meetings here

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