One-on-one meetings with the boss are a powerful way to build a strong working relationship with your manager. In the past, communication with the boss often came after a failed project or during the annual performance review, which almost everyone tried their best to avoid.

The shift has recently moved to more frequent communication in one-on-one meetings with the boss. These meetings focus more on the overall functioning of the employee within the team than just performance. The meetings are a time for you to truly have a say in your role and the company.

To make the most of your one-on-one meetings with the boss, consider the following things:

Feedback Is Critical During One-on-One Meetings With the Boss

As an employee, it’s natural to feel anxious about providing feedback to your manager. The fact is, however, that many managers want sincere feedback but very seldom receive it. The act of employees providing feedback does not come naturally to them. Because of the power relationship that exists, most employees would feel awkward doing anything like this.

Consider how much you long for feedback and acknowledgment in your role as an employee. Imagine being a manager and not knowing if you are doing a good or a poor job. You must understand that almost no manager deliberately chooses to be poor at their jobs.

If you don’t provide them feedback, it will be difficult for them to figure out where they need to improve. The lesson from this is to treat your superiors the same way you would like to be treated. Don’t be hesitant to share your thoughts and opinions.

That said, this is also a time when you will receive feedback. Everyone handles feedback differently, and the thought of receiving it can cause anxiety. We all want to know we’re doing well, and when we hear we might need some work, it can bring about big emotions.

Try not to let this get the best of you. Prepare in advance. If your meetings have been consistent with open communication, nothing shouldn’t be too surprising. If something does arise, it’s fair to express your feelings about it with your boss but do your best to maintain your composure. You can even practice what you might say in return.

One-on-One Meetings With the Boss

The One-on-One Meetings With the Boss Belong to You

These sessions are for you to update your supervisor on the situation. It’s acceptable to inform your manager that the job is stressful or personal difficulties are an issue. You should, however, uphold appropriate bounds. Don’t hesitate to take charge of the meeting and inform your supervisor of all that is happening.

Given that the supervisor frequently directs meetings, this would not appear normal. These interactions are crucial and advantageous because of this. It differs from the usual.

Your boss will need to discuss some things, but the main focus of the meeting should be on your needs, progress, and goals as they align with the company. You should say something if you feel you’re not getting what you need from the meeting.

These Meetings Give You a Chance to Build a Relationship

These sessions have the remarkable side effect of greatly enhancing your relationship with your boss. You may understand what is really going on rather than just speculating why your employer could act a specific way. Additionally, you will start to comprehend their effort to assemble a cohesive workforce.

These meetings give you extra background, making understanding your boss’s predicament easier. When a manager must weigh the needs of their team and your position, it’s easy to assume that they don’t care about you if the scenario isn’t correctly understood.

It Is Essential That You Attend the One-on-One Meetings With Your Boss

Hold your manager accountable for their one-on-ones. For example, make sure the meetings are scheduled in both calendars. If your manager wants to cancel, ask them not to. This is your meeting, not theirs.

It’s common for managers to forget about these meetings. The best thing you can do is be proactive. Don’t be afraid to wait outside their office or ping them on an internal chat app. This is why it’s so important to schedule one-on-ones on a calendar. As an employee, you can point out that the time is already blocked off.

Prepare and Create an Agenda

Make sure to prepare for your one-on-one meetings with the boss. This is especially important if you have something difficult to discuss. Sometimes, listing the things you want to discuss helps keep you focused and less emotional. You want to jump into a conversation and then go on a long rant with very little substance.

Depending on your manager, they may send a copy of their agenda and even allow you to amend it. An agenda will help keep everyone on track so you can discuss everything you need to touch on.

Here are some excellent subjects you might find helpful to discuss in your one-on-one sessions with the boss.

Data: If you have fresh data or scientific findings, ask your manager how they can impact the company’s overall business strategy. Is there a possibility? A danger? What reaction would you have?

Competitors: How might a new competitor’s entry into the market impact our product plan over the following six months? What should I watch out for in sales data or customer reviews?

Advice: When developing new product ideas, research comparable products’ difficulties before launching them. Does a modern innovation exist that might be useful?

What should I do strategically over the next three months to prepare for a significant launch?

If you’re working with a challenging coworker or have a conflict with a peer, ask for guidance on handling the situation.

Career: What would you need to do (education? certifications?), and when would be a good time to transition to a different product area or team? What can I do right now to prepare for that future change?

What Does the One-on-One Meetings With the Boss Agenda Look Like?

Simply diving in will allow you to save some of your precious time. It’s likely that within the first few minutes of one-on-one meetings with the boss, the two of you will try to determine whether there are any problems or areas that require improvement. At first, it might not appear natural, but after some practice, you’ll find it comes much more naturally.

You should prepare to provide input during the first part of the meeting we have scheduled for you. The second half of the meeting will typically consist of your supervisor providing you with feedback and action planning.

The time allotted for the meeting should be on the schedule, so the time it takes shouldn’t surprise you. Depending on your manager, one-on-one meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Offer Suggestions and Feedback

As an employee, you have a perspective that your manager may not have because you are in the employee role. If you notice something, take responsibility and say something about it.

Do not be afraid to voice your opinion regarding this matter. Discuss any procedures you feel could be improved during your one-on-one meetings with the manager.

Should you bring up any issues?

Should you discuss other employees during one-on-one meetings with the boss? If you can do so without coming across as vengeful, yes. After much consideration, anything you say about another employee should be respectful and mentioned. If this person is doing something to harm you, that’s another story.

What if you’re not satisfied with your one-on-one meetings with the boss?

At the end of every meeting, you may want to ask your manager if there’s anything else you should focus on. This is a way to ensure you haven’t missed anything significant and a great way to let your boss know they’ve hit all the topics. If they say no, ask about it in the next meeting.

If you’ve reached the end of the meeting but haven’t talked about your future with the team, discuss it now. You might have dreams of being a boss yourself, or maybe you want to advance to another department. Your boss should be privy to this and support your progression.


One-on-one meetings with the boss can be intimidating. Still, with open communication and consistency, you and your boss should be able to forge a healthy working relationship through supportive and progressive meetings. If you ever feel the meeting isn’t progressing in a supportive manner, talk with your boss to see what needs to change.