20 Remote meeting best practices your team needs to succeed
A large percentage of the business world has gone fully or partially remote. And when your…
Meetings are a key tool for every team. The trick is using these moments effectively and making the most of this scheduled time. Calendars can fill up fast, and there isn’t always a clear agenda or output for each touchpoint that gets scheduled. Understanding the main differences between a one-on-one meeting vs. a team meeting helps you be strategic in planning what you’ll talk about when, and to whom.
One-on-one meetings give managers and their direct reports the chance to touch base individually on things like the employee’s career goals and their personal workload. Team meetings, on the other hand, give everyone the chance to come together and align on shared objectives and collaborative initiatives.
Diving deeper into the main differences and benefits of one-on-one and team meetings helps you really understand their purpose and strengths. That way, you can find the right balance, and run every meeting type in the best way possible so everyone gets the most out of it.
What’s in the article…
At the most basic level, the main difference between a team meeting and a one-on-one is the number of people involved. One-on-ones are between two people, while a team discussion is between a group of employees. But on a deeper level, there are some other key differences between these two types of meetings.
The context of team meetings and one-on-ones are usually different, including the purpose, goals, and outcomes. The purpose of coming together as a team could be to align on a particular outcome that everyone’s contributing to. And for one-on-ones, it might be to connect with or support team members at the individual level.
For example: You might gather your team to talk through an upcoming group project, while you use one-on-one time to discuss professional development.
The structure and format of each meeting type is also typically different. A one-on-one conversation can often be more of a discussion, even if it’s based on your talking points or meeting agenda. But team connections might be less dynamic or more timed out, because they include more people.
For example: Teams might meet for a presentation by one person, or a brainstorm session between everyone, while employees and managers have more of a check-in meeting.
Both types of meetings should happen frequently enough, but most managers will have more one-on-ones in their calendar than team meetings. And for employees, team meetings are likely to feel more frequent than their individual touch points with their manager. This is simply because managers meet individually with every member of the team, but how often you have one-on-ones will depend on your context.
For example: You might have a weekly team sprint meeting, and every employee will have a weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one with the team manager.
One-on-ones have many benefits, are a key function of effective team leadership, and an important part of maintaining employee engagement. Keeping up a good level of communication between managers and employees helps build trust and transparency, and boost understanding.
Team meetings, or staff meetings, offer their own host of benefits and contribute to a team’s healthy functioning in their own way. Maintaining regular communication on the team keeps everyone aligned on common goals and priorities.
When it comes to how to run a one-on-one meeting, there’s no hard and fast rule. Sometimes, it will make sense for the manager to take the lead going through agenda items and asking one-on-one questions. Other times, it’s best to let the employee lead the conversation while the manager takes meeting notes. This will depend on factors like:
A team meeting can be led by anyone, but managers often end up taking the lead for these types of meetings. That said, it’s good to give employees the opportunity to drive some team conversations, too. Some team meetings might be led in rotation, or certain employees might take the lead on meetings about projects that they’re spearheading.
Consider also finding opportunities for multiple people to pitch in on carrying out the meeting by taking on responsibilities like:
There are several different ways to make use of the dedicated time managers and their direct reports have one-on-one together. Some of the main ways to use a one-on-one meeting are:
Team meetings also have many purposes, and there are certain things better suited to a group setting. Some of the main ways to use a team meeting are:
The bottom line is, one-on-one meetings and team meetings have different purposes, but each type of meeting is as important as the other. One-on-one meetings offer the opportunity to connect with your employees on an individual level, while team meetings are the place to address your team collectively. Both are important tools to keep up the health of any team, and it’s all about using them for the best purpose and at the right time.
Would you be interested in receiving our newsletter directly in your inbox?