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Mastering 1-1s: A Guide to Boosting Your Engineering Team

· 3 min read

1-1 Meeting One-on-one meetings (1-1s) are a vital part of a tech lead's role when working with an engineering team. In this blog post, we'll explore how to conduct effective 1-1s, emphasizing the benefits they bring, and providing practical tips for getting the most out of these meetings.

One common misconception is that there's no time for 1-1s. However, this is not true. 1-1s are an investment in your team's success, leading to improved communication, motivation, and transparency. In the long run, they save time by preventing misunderstandings and boosting productivity.

The Essentials of Effective 1-1s:

Set a schedule

Establish a regular meeting schedule, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Consistency is essential to ensure both you and your team members prioritize these discussions. Personally, I do them in a weekly basis.

Be a value multiplier

Encourage your team members to take ownership of their tasks and decisions. While it's crucial to provide guidance and support, allowing them to make mistakes and learn from them fosters growth and independence.

Make sure there is an agenda

Before each 1-1, either send an agenda or ask your team member to share their topics of interest. This ensures the meeting is focused and productive. Here's a list of questions to guide your discussions:

  • How are you?
  • What have you learned this week?
  • What are your current challenges, and how can I assist you in overcoming them?

These questions will help you understand their mood, make sure that your company promotes a continuous learning culture and help them remove their current obstacles.

Provide feedback

Offer constructive feedback during 1-1s. Focus on specific advice for improvement while also acknowledging accomplishments and progress. Make sure to create a culture of feedback where team members can also share their insights.


Build Trust

Trust is the foundation of a strong engineering team. 1-1s provide the ideal platform for building relationships with your team members and fostering open, honest communication.

Knowledge Sharing and Questions

These meetings encourage team members to ask questions, seek guidance, and share their knowledge. This helps prevent roadblocks and promotes a culture of continuous learning.


Regular personal interactions help motivate your team. Discussing their achievements and growth opportunities can inspire them to excel in their roles.


1-1s create transparency by discussing challenges and achievements openly. This helps identify and address issues early, preventing them from escalating.


In conclusion, 1-1s are a valuable tool for tech leads to connect with their engineering teams. By implementing these practices, you can enhance your connection with your engineers, empower them to excel in their roles, and contribute to your team's overall success. Remember, investing in 1-1s is an investment in your team's growth and your own growth as a leader.

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