You have a meeting with your boss soon. You want feedback on your performance. Here are 10 valuable questions to ask your boss that will kickstart your meeting, impress, and give you clarity.
What is a 1-on-1?
A one-on-one meeting is planned time for just you and your boss to meet. It’s a great opportunity to get information from their point of view and develop a strategy for your future success. Before your meeting, you may receive an agenda. It’s a good idea to bring questions that will help you better understand your performance and role.
Successfully Preparing for a 1-on-1
Preparation for any meeting is key- especially with your manager. This will show you take the meeting seriously and the conversation will be more productive. Make sure you dress professionally for work that day. You will feel more confident going into your meeting.
Understand the tone of the meeting before you go in. This ensures you are both on the same page.
What can you do to prepare?
- Know the agenda- Be mentally prepared to cover the topic at hand.
- Have necessary documents & tools with you- (laptop, notepad, previous research, past performance, relevant numbers, etc.)
- Bring questions- Have at least 3 questions ready to ask. Use your current situation to guide the questions you choose. Consider any challenges or areas you need clarification in regards to your work performance.
Best Practice During a 1-on-1
Follow these steps to make the most out of your next meeting.
- Take notes- Listen and respond, but don’t forget to write. Key points and feedback should be noted for easy reference in the future.
- Remain focused- Don’t stray too far off topic. Keeping the meeting flowing = productivity.
- Be open to feedback- Some topics are easier to talk about than others. Focus on this time as an opportunity to improve and become more successful in your job. Get excited about implementing the new feedback you receive.
- Show interest + be on time- Be alert, on time, and ready to engage in conversation. This shows you are respectful of your boss’s time and that you are thankful for your job and the opportunity to meet.
10 Valuable Questions to Ask Your Manager During Your 1-on-1
The questions you ask should tie back to the agenda of your meeting. Let the topic guide the questions you bring to the table.
Questions About Past Performance
1. Can you provide an overview of my progress? How is this being measured?
This helps you understand how your performance is being tracked and if you are succeeding in your role. It will be easier to pinpoint areas you need to improve if you know this information.
2. Last month was great/hard/not as successful. Here is what I think went right/wrong/astray. What are your thoughts?
Reflecting and being open to feedback are great skills for an employee to have. This shows your ability to reflect on your past performance.
3. What are my strengths? How can I use them to improve our business?
This gives your boss the opportunity to show you exactly where they think you are the most valuable in your role. Knowing this, you can transform your strengths and apply them into other areas of your work that need improvement.
Questions About Current Performance
4. What are your priorities for this week? How can I help?
Assisting your boss in achieving his or her goals helps the company as a whole.
5. What immediate changes can I make to improve the performance of the team?
Your role plays a part in the success of your team and company. Knowing changes that can be made now will help avoid problems in the future.
6. What am I currently doing that’s working and why? Is there anything I should stop doing? If so, why?
Identify what’s working and focus on how you can develop those strengths to achieve exceptional results. Discontinue habits that get in the way of using your time wisely.
Questions About Future Performance and Professional Development
7. Where would you like to see my role 6 months from now? 1 year from now?
Create a path that lines up with both your goals and where your boss ideally sees you. Set small, attainable goals to get there. By setting goals and reaching them, you will boost confidence and improve your career overall.
8. Which parts of the business would you like me to learn more about?
There may be areas of your company that you have not yet tapped into. Learning these may put you on track to a well-rounded understanding of your company.
9. What responsibilities can I take on to further my career?
This question shows initiative. Only ask this if you are ready to take on more in your role. If you’re feeling like there’s too much on your plate at the moment, save this question until you have your current responsibilities under control.
10. What is a best practice or piece of advice that has helped shape your career?
What works for others may work for you. Take advice from your manager, especially where they have found success. Maybe it’s waking up earlier, conquering the most important tasks first thing in the work day, or a specific book they’ve read. Use this information to achieve your goals and map out a growth strategy.
After the Meeting
Use the information you learned from the meeting to do the following:
- Type + reread your notes
- Make an action plan + set goals
In the Near Future
In a week, a month, 3 months from now…
- Reflect on the goals you set after your meeting. Go over how you met/ didn’t meet them. Continue OR change your action plan.
- Think about the possibility of increasing/decreasing responsibility.
Prepare for your meeting. Bring questions to the table that relate to your current work situation. Stay focused and alert. Then reflect on your meeting and create a plan of action. You’re set for success!
Need more support?
If you’re continuing to improve and not getting the raise or promotion you feel you deserve, it might be time to reach out to Chief of Staff KC and seek out further job opportunities.
If you are the manager and your 1-on-1’s aren’t being fully received, reach out to Chief of Staff KC. We can always do confidential replacements so you don’t skip a beat.
Check out the Chief of Staff blog to keep up to date with the latest recruiting news in Kansas City.