Simple and Effective way to set 1-on-1 Meeting Agendas

Srihari Udugani
3 min readFeb 11, 2023
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Are you facing difficulty in setting agendas for 1-on-1 meetings consistently with your direct reports? Many managers struggle to cover all the required topics in 1-on-1 meetings consistently.

Common reason behind this is, managers are not aware an effective way to set agenda.

In this blog, I want to discuss a simple and effective way to set the agenda for 1-on-1 meetings. With this approach, you can run your 1-on-1 meetings productively.

4 Quadrant Approach

The 4 quadrant approach is a simple and an effective way to decide the agenda. It is theme based and can be customised based on manager’s need.

Each quadrant represents a theme of topics that you want to cover. The theme can be decided specific to roles or specific to each team member.

Note that, each theme must have some time allocated during the 1-on-1.

Common Theme For 1-on-1

The Followup, Goals, Guide and Feedback are the most commonly used themes.

Theme#1 Follow-up: In the Follow-up theme, have topics that will help you to understand the progress of the activities. For example, you can have topics related to on going projects or on action items that were assigned.

Theme#2 Goals: In the Goals theme, have topics that will help you to understand the progress on short-term and long-term goals that are assigned to the team member. Every week, the short team goals can be discussed and once in every month long term goals can discussed.

Theme#3 Guide: In the Guide theme, have topics that will help your team member to make decisions or to help solve challenges or understand risks that could occur. For example, if there are any pending decisions to be made, then the priority ones can be picked up to arrive at next steps or the finalise the decision.

Theme#4 Feedback: In the Feedback theme, talk about positive feedbacks, and areas of improvements. You can perform retrospection for a completed project or a goal or an activity to arrive at what went well and what could have been better.

With the 4 quadrant approach you now can decide topics for 1-on-1 meetings consistently and run your meetings productively.

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Srihari Udugani

Knowledge Made Simple and Structured, Decisions Made Clear. Happy success!