May 29

1-on-1 Meeting Cheatsheet

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1:1 Meeting Cheatsheet

Below is a quick reference guide to 1:1 meetings with your stakeholders.

Cheatsheet includes: 
  • Formal vs informal 1:1s
  • 1:1 Meeting Template
  • Asking better questions in your 1:1s
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1:1 Meeting Template

Review/recap previous meeting
Review previous actions.

• Key point 1 (from previous meeting)
• Key point 2
• ….
PAST: Recent Wins / Challenges
• ….
• ….
• ….
• ….
PRESENT: Current work and challenges
• ….
• ….

FUTURE: What’s next for the team
• ….
• ….

Points to cover
• Point 1
• Point 2
• Point 3
• ….
• Action 1
• Action 2
• Action 3
• ….

How to use this template

Typically, I will turn this into a wiki page* where I can edit and keep a paper trail.

I will then set aside 15 minutes to complete the wiki page in preparation for the meeting. Nothing exhaustive, just bullet points as prompts as you will discuss in the meeting.

Depending on the arrangement I have with the stakeholder I they may also edit the wiki page and add the points that they would like to cover directly to agenda. If not, I will create space at the start of the meeting to gather their input.

*a tool such as notion, confluence, etc depending on the tool of choice at your company

Formal vs Informal 1:1s

Formal 1:1s

- Consistent structure
- Paper trail of what was talked about
- Often done ‘behind closed doors’ which can create psychological safety
- Predictability (less unexpected interruptions like the café being closed)
- Easier to share screen and files

- Highly formal and can miss out on the interpersonal aspects which are necessary for trust
- Repetitive

Informal 1:1s

- Flexible to the needs of the moment
- Better for building relationships and trust (interpersonal conversation)
- Casual setting can make it more relaxing leading to better conversations.

- Some stakeholders might find this unprofessional or distracting.
- You can have unexpected things interrupt the meeting (bumping into others or the noisy cafe)
- Harder to take notes or share screen/files

Asking Better Questions in your 1:1s

Here's a list of prompting questions I compiled for the Stakeholder Management Essentials course to help you have better conversations in your Stakeholder. 1:1s.

I use the majority of these questions regularly:

- What makes one-on-ones the most valuable for you?
- What are your current focus areas?
- What are your current concerns about this initiative / feature / opportunity / product?
- What’s top of mind?
- What are some things you’d like to discuss?
- What are some things that went well last week?
- Is there anything you’re currently not completely satisfied with?
- What are your top priorities right now? And how can I help you with them?
- What can I help you with?
- Anything you’d like me to do more of? Less of?
- Is there anything you’d like to add to our regular 1:1 agenda?
- How do you feel about the current vision, strategies and priorities?
- Is there any way I can better support you?
Stakeholder map with 3 concentric circles depicting 3 categories:  CORE Stakeholders DIRECT Stakeholders INDIRECT Stakeholders
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