Commercial efficiency
4 min reading

The One-to-One point as a prerequisite for individual success

Cyprien Borios
Published on

We all know someone brilliant, who had big responsibilities early on. When you ask these people how they got there, they very often say, "I ran into the best manager ever!"

Yes, the manager plays a major role in the individual success of team members.

However, managing is complicated. Especially for sales positions!

The link between continuous training and motivation has already been studied. Today, we are looking at the link between directmanagement and individual success. More specifically, one of the key components of direct management:ย one-on-one.

The "one-to-one" is a one-on-one meeting between a manager and each member of his or her team. Extremely common practice, the one-to-one generally takes place once a week, for a duration of 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Contrary to popular belief, this is often one of the least organized aspects of the company, where everyone is relatively free to organize themselves as they see fit.

Theresult is that everyone does it their own way, and there's something for everyone!

Although one-to-one has become a must for many teams, some people are still sceptical about its relevance. So what is missing from your one-to-ones to be really effective?


1. Why are one-to-ones essential?

To begin with, it is important to understand that giving time to each member of your team is crucial to their motivation. These points are a way to recognize the value and importance of your "junior" within the company. So YES, these are priority moments, and NO, they should not be delayed.

Also, the one-to-one must be able to correspond to a break in the productive frenzy of the week. Like the break during a good hike, which allows you to look back and appreciate the path you have travelled.

Yet, very often, managers who conduct these points have difficulty taking a step back and identifying what works well... and not so well.

Here are some feedbacks that your team sometimes doesn't dare to give you.

  • "Our one-to-ones are not structured, it's too disjointed. We go off in all directions."
  • "I don't find them fundamentally useful. It even becomes a real waste of time when you have to prepare something."
  • "It's too superficial: my pipe is rolled out, he reminds me that I have to follow up on my clients (as if I didn't know) ... I walk out, and haven't learned anything new."
  • "My manager thinks he has to give me a lecture, and hogs the floor. I don't have time to express myself, and I leave with my questions."

Creating and maintaining a strong relationship with your team is one of the best things a manager can do.

So, what has been forgotten, and how can we correct it?

succeed with one-to-ones

2. What 50% of managers forget in their one-to-ones

If I had to schematize:

  • "How far along are you on this deal? "
  • "What's the hold-up?"
  • "What do you have planned for this prospect?"
At the very least, a salesperson's one-to-one is often like a pipe review.

From abusiness point of view, it makes sense. We're here to be efficient, and unblock situations, and move forward.

But this would be to omit a key component of management: empathy.

Or the famous emotional intelligence โ‡’ "What's behind the facade?"

Don't forget that this is sometimes the only time you share together (alone), so it 's the only opportunity to talk about more "human" subjects - more difficult to discuss in an open space.

This is often the only opportunity to address more "human" issues.

Take full advantage of these points to ask the questions that matter:

  • "How do you feel?"
  • "What would you like us to talk about?"

The objective of a one-on-one is therefore twofold:

  1. Take stock of the personal situation.
  2. Take stock of the professional situation.

Itis a privileged moment between you two. We are there to unblock situations, to co-construct a solution. When we know that 80% of sales depend on the state of mind, all managers should have an interest in paying attention to the well-being of their teams.

3. How to improve your one-to-one

The aim is to reconcile operational progress with the well-being of the employee. Here are a few concepts to incorporate into your one-on-ones:

1. Allowing to open up

1st thing to do! Many juniors wait for this special moment to confess what is weighing on their shoulders. Like a client who remains focused on his doubts throughout your presentation, you must start by letting him express his doubts and ask his questions, so that he can be attentive for the rest. As long as you have not addressed the subject that worries your interlocutor, he will only half listen to you. Take 5 minutes to start calmly.

  • "How are you doing?
  • "Before we get into the nitty gritty, are there any points you would like to address?"

2. Use this opportunity to compliment

Never forget that recognition for a job well done is a reward that is often much more appreciated than a salary. Recall last week's successes!

  • "By the way, on this one, you did great!"

This is especially important if you want to talk about something unpleasant afterwards.

โ‡’ Always start by notifying the positive facts before the negative. But don't try to invent positive facts so you can address more complicated points. It shows and it's worse!

3. Rectifications/ Areas for improvement

Before saying that something is wrong, remember the facts so that you can build on them.

Be clear about what you are criticising. Weigh your words. Be constructive.

  • "We had agreed on this. Why wasn't it done?"

The focus is on the facts, not the character of the person. Never associate a mistake with a personal trait. Instead, present the impact on the team and the company.

  • "If you don't do this, every team will be impacted. Here's what's involved behind it: ..."

Listen to his or her arguments, and ask what the person would like to do to correct the situation.

  • "What areyou planning to do?"
  • "What actions do you plan to take to unblock the situation?"
  • "How do we prevent this from happening again?"

4. Removing barriers

The first job of a manager is not to empower, but to remove obstacles - Scott Adams

You are the oil in the wheels. Your role is to facilitate the work of your teams as much as possible => "What prevents you from ..." and "How can I help you to ...?" should be the favorite phrases ofmanagers!

If a junior is waiting for the weekly update to sort something out, it is :

  • Either he didn 't have time to do it โ‡’ "How can I help you get better organised? "
  • Either they need help โ‡’ Look at how you can co-construct a solution together.

5. Gettinginvolved

Simple. Get involved.

  • We take 30 minutes to think about how we can formulate the offer.
  • "Monday, you go with me on my call with this big client."
  • "Send me all the information you have, we'll work on it together."
It's not wearing the same shirt that makes a team, it's sweating together - Aimรฉ Jacquet

Individual coaching allows us to adapt to the specific needs of each individual. Essential, especially for young recruits!

6. Positive note to end

Whether it's for a client meeting, an essay or a one-on-one, never forget to give the conclusion a good look!

Clear "next-steps" for the future and a little encouragement is already great. Show that you have confidence in this person! The support of your manager is a key source of motivation ;)


Managers must create lasting relationships with their teams.

"Managing for profit is almost about playing tennis by looking at the scoreboard rather than the ball" - Ivan Lendl

Every week, your salespeople are getting offer proposals on LinkedIn. If you don't have a relationship with your teams, they will leave you at the 1สณแต‰ opportunity.

Take advantage of your one-to-ones to put things straight, compliment, rectify and motivate for the future. Your teams will be more than grateful!

To help you out, we've created a framework that includes everything you need in your One-to-One, in one document. Available a little higher up in the article ๐Ÿ‘†

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