In recent articles, we have spent some time discussing two major components to effective leadership:

  1. Deliberately giving feedback – both, positive and constructive.
  2. Having tough conversations through a Performance Management System

But what is one key requirement to both of these major leadership components? An effective One-on-One (1x1) System.

What is a 1x1 System?

A 1x1 System is simply a deliberate effort to hold one-on-one meetings with each of the team members who report directly to you.

Why Should I Have a 1x1 System?

A 1x1 System can create tremendous results in an organization. Many small and medium-sized businesses tend to default into a reactionary communication culture. So, when a leader needs something from a team member, or when a team member needs something from their leader, they go ask for it at their convenience. But how often does this process interrupt the other party? While leaders and team members may be interacting all week, it is almost always reactionary and interruptive, which kills productivity throughout the organization.

A 1x1 System offers several key advantages to an organization. First, it provides clarity around expectations. What will it take to win the week? What are the most important tasks to accomplish?

Second, it provides accountability. Now that both parties are on the same page, did the tasks get done?

Third, it provides an opportunity for development. What obstacles came up since the last meeting? How did the team member handle those obstacles? Could they have handled them better? Did the leader communicate tasks clearly enough for team members to work independently?

Finally, 1x1 meetings provide a deliberate and regular opportunity to give feedback and have a conversation around performance management. So if a team member is not meeting expectations or is making mistakes, the leader can have an honest conversation with them in a safe environment.

Do you have a 1x1 System? What does it look like?

If you want to learn more about how to design and implement a 1x1 System in your organization, contact us at or email us at