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One One One Meeting Expectations

Updated: 4 days ago

The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it. – Andrew Carnegie

It is only appropriate that after 35 years of corporate human resources experience, both as an internal leader and in a consulting capacity, I would like to share my knowledge and experience so that you and your organization have more information at your disposal. My lessons learned have been multi-faceted, including extensive work developing internal processes and technology, yet I always come back to the fact that the strength of every organization lies with its people. High performing people, efficient processes, and established systems will lead your organization into the future.


Whether you are a start-up or a mid-sized organization, there are clear and measurable ways to ensure that you are developing strong leaders and collaborative teams. This series of blogs will address many of the most common issues that we have encountered within organizations and will provide you with practical and repeatable solutions for you and your team. 

Part One: 4 Tips for Leaders—Setting Expectations in the Workplace

Strong leaders understand that effectively communicating on the job contributes to increased productivity, innovation, job satisfaction, and helps to mitigate conflict. This 2-part series provides concrete steps you can take to ensure your communications are hitting the mark. 


One of the best platforms for establishing and managing expectations is during your one-on-one meetings with your team members.  Setting expectations provides an agreed upon starting point and provides both the leader and the team member with an opportunity to gain feedback and insight into the needs of each individual while setting guidelines and boundaries. All team members are offered an opportunity to be heard and provide input. This interaction encourages a collaborative process and is one of the foundations for building a high-performing team.

Step 1) Conduct Pre-Meeting Planning.

In order to get the results you expect from your one-on-one meetings, follow these suggestions:

  • Develop an agenda for your meetings which enables you to address the important issues and avoid only tackling the hot topics or issues.

  • Be sure attendees know what’s expected from them when you meet and what they can expect from you.

  • Evaluate whether you are getting the results you expect from these meetings. If not, ask your team members for their help. Take their recommendations into consideration and adjust accordingly.

Step 2) Set the Tone for Your Meeting.

Dedicate the first 5 – 10 minutes of every meeting to check in with your team members.  Resist the urge to jump in to discuss the status of deliverables. Look for clues to determine whether the other person seems relaxed, stressed, or anxious and tailor your questions to the mood. For example, ask: 

  • You look like you have a lot on your mind, what’s going on?

  • Do you need help with anything?

  • How is your day going? How did yesterday go, or the past week?

The responses provide an opportunity to connect on a personal level and convey that you care about their well-being.   

Step 3) Understanding the Expectations of Others

This is one of the keys to having productive meetings as well as developing and reinforcing the desired culture. To help others understand what you expect, it is important to understand their perspective. The following provides a way to measure the needs of another person:

  1. Ask what they need/expect from you (their manager/supervisor).

  2. Have them review the following list and rank the importance on a 1 – 10 scale. After you review the rankings together, ask them to provide examples of what it looks like in the workplace when their top 3 – 5 ranked items are in place, ie: “Give me an example of what “regular feedback” means to you.”  Ask questions in order to clarify issues, directions, and needs.

Rank in importance from 1-10 (10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest); go to for the downloadable form:

____ Clarity

____ Consistent communications

____ Respect

____ Developing strengths

____ Accountability

____ Regular feedback

____ Honesty

____ Safe space to admit mistakes and failure.

____ Transparency

____ Appreciation

Step 4) Be Clear About What You Expect

Rank the following list in importance to you and the organization and share your thoughts. Your rankings should be selected based on the needs/issues of each individual. Again, provide examples of what it looks like in the workplace when the top 3 – 5 ranked items are in place. Follow up by asking if they understand or want to add to your examples. Go to for the downloadable form:

____ Be involved

____ Truth telling

____ Feedback is welcome and needed.

____ Collaborate

____ Stay current

____ Question me if you disagree or don’t understand what we’re discussing.

____ Provide me with your suggestions, opinions or input on topics.

____ Be respectful at all times.

____ Honesty

____ Follow up

This discussion provides the opportunity to set and agree upon expectations moving forward.    

Developing clarity and consensus with others in your workplace removes many barriers to success and develops a culture of collaboration with a focus on shared goals and expectations.


Levin HR Consulting develops leaders in small to mid-size businesses through personalized coaching and guidance by engaging people and ensuring systems are in place to support the growth, scalability, and success of the organization.

Contact us today for a FREE assessment of where you are in your journey to success.


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