Below is a selection of templates for the various conversations or topics you might want to discuss with your direct reports. From regular check-ins to creating professional development plans, to helping uncover specific issues – we hope this provides you with the inspiration needed to help drive more meaningful conversations with your team.

The conversations are in no particular order, and of course, how you use these is entirely up to you. These questions and suggested meeting structures are intended to be used as inspiration, rather than as a strict guide to follow. If you want more guidance in this area, check out our Manager's guide on how to have effective 1:1s.

💡 Tip: Create a new topic in your shared 1:1 space and copy and paste the questions you want to discuss with each report as notes.


Available templates:

Full conversations

1. Getting to know a new team member (1hr)

2. Weekly/Bi-weekly check-in (30mins)

3. Coaching conversation (1hr)

4. Post-performance review debrief + action plan (1hr)


Specific topic inspiration

5. Alignment check-in

6. Personal growth/Progress check-in

7. Relationships check-in

8. Uncovering Issues

9. Performance Improvement check-in

Would you prefer to select these 1:1 questions directly within Impraise? Admins can import them to the competency library, making 1:1 prep much easier for busy Managers. Contact your account admin to request this if you don’t have access.

Full conversations

These templates provide inspiration for questions and meeting structure, as these are conversations that usually deserve their own meeting time to discuss properly.

1. Getting to know a new team member (1hr)

You might have a new team member joining, or you could be a Manager joining an existing team. In any case, it helps to get to know each individual, so you understand how they prefer to work, and what makes them tick, so you can work effectively together. Start with these questions and ask for examples if you want more clarification.

Working style (20mins)

  • When are you most productive? Morning/afternoon/evening

  • What communication style works best for you? In-person/Email/Slack etc.

  • How would you prefer to receive praise? 1:1s/Impraise/private/publicly?

  • How would you prefer to receive developmental feedback? Written/face to face?

  • What worked well with your previous manager(s) and why?

  • How often would you prefer to have scheduled touchpoints with me? 1:1s etc.

  • How would you prefer to use our 1:1 time?

Personal motivations and detractors (40mins)

  • What does personal and professional success look like to you?

  • What drives you in your current role? Or what are you most excited about in this new role? (depending on the context)

  • What results are you looking for in your current role?

  • How will I know if something is bothering you?

  • What do you need from me to be successful?

  • If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? (if applicable)

  • Do you have any questions about the team or the company that I can help answer?

2. Weekly/Bi-weekly check-in (30mins)

This structure helps people to uncover potential learnings, keeps you up to date with their priorities, and helps identify opportunities where you can lend your support to help them achieve success. You can double the time allocations if you meet less often and want to spend a full hour.

Last week (10mins)

  • Did you accomplish everything you wanted to last week?

  • Are there any outstanding action items from last week that we need to discuss?

  • Do you have any learnings or things you could have done differently?

  • The last time we spoke you said X was a challenge for you, how is that going?

This week (15mins)

  • What are the top priorities you're working on this week?

  • Are there any roadblocks or challenges that you need my help with?

  • Is there anything you plan to work on in the future that I can help with already?

  • Any other topics we should discuss?

Action items (5mins)

  • What actions need to be taken to ensure everything we discussed gets done?

  • What can I do to help you achieve the things we just discussed?

💡 Tip: Make 1:1 prep easier by creating recurring 1:1 topics for items you discuss regularly.

3. Coaching conversation (1hr)

Coaching is one of the primary roles of a Manager, and these questions are critical to understanding what drives each of your reports to succeed each day, and what might be holding them back. Your job is to turn these insights into opportunities for growth.

The questions (and sections) below are inspiration for you to guide a conversation that ends with actionable and measurable professional development goals for them to aim for in the coming 3/6/12 months (depending on how often you have this conversation).

Personal connection (5mins)

  • How are your energy levels feeling these days?


Reflection (10mins)

  • How do you feel about your personal growth over the past X months?

  • When we last spoke, your goal was to focus on X/Y/Z – do you feel you’ve managed to make the changes you wanted to?

  • What has challenged you most at work in the past X months?


Success (10mins)

  • What does ‘success’ look like for you in your role and your career?

  • How do you know you’ve been successful?


Motivators (15mins)

  • What motivates you the most about this project?

  • What have you worked on recently that you have been most proud of?

  • Has anything in particular been giving you energy lately?


Blockers (15mins)

  • Is there anything that is demotivating you at the moment?

  • Do you have any processes or activities that feel like a waste of time?

  • Is there anything about the team or company that is causing you confusion?

  • Are there any ways we could improve the workflow in the areas you described?


Next steps/takeaways (5mins)

  • Are there any solutions you can think of to the challenges we’ve discussed today that you think might help improve things?

  • What are the main areas where you want to focus on in the coming X months?

  • What are some measurable goals we can create to make sure you hold yourself accountable and to show progress?

💡 Tip: Stay one step ahead by learning how to create Professional Development Goals in Impraise, so you’re familiar with the options available after your conversations.

4. Post-performance review debrief + action plan (1hr)

Once you’ve had performance reviews with each of your reports, it’s incredibly important to follow up to discuss the feedback and to help make a clear and actionable plan for ways to improve. Some people may already have a clear idea of where these opportunities lie, but it’s important to actively listen and discuss these to make sure you’re aligned.

The next step is to create an action plan with personal development goals, and perhaps personal business objectives. These will help to make these changes stick, so they don’t just slip back into the same familiar behaviours.

Preparation (15-30mins)

  • Take time to summarise and cluster the themes you recognise (especially if there is feedback from other people) and ask your reports to do the same before you meet, so you can have a productive discussion in your 1:1.

  • Make sure to give even weight to positive and constructive feedback.


Connect (5-10mins)

  • How are you feeling after this performance review?

  • How did you feel reflecting on your own performance?

Discuss the feedback (30mins)

  • Is there feedback you received that you need more clarification about?

  • Are there any common themes you recognised in the feedback you received (from me and/or peers)?

  • What are your main takeaways from this feedback?

  • Do you find anything surprising?

Action plan (20mins)

  • What are the areas that you would like to focus on moving forward?

  • What measurable goals could we create to help you grow in these areas over the next 3/6/12 months?

💡 Tip: Easily keep these goals top of mind by creating 1:1 topics using the Development Goals created above to make sure you discuss progress throughout the year.

Specific topic inspiration

These templates provide inspiration for questions that you might want to ask reports based on behaviour you've noticed, or after changes in the team/company.

5. Alignment check-in

You might want to discuss confidence in your company direction, or how connected or aligned an individual feels to your company or team goals. These conversations can be particularly important following new goals/OKRs or a big change at your company, to ensure you understand how people feel, and if anything is still unclear to them.

How do you feel about our company vision and direction?

  • Are our company goals/OKRs clear to you?

  • Are our team goals/OKRs clear to you?

  • Do you feel like you can contribute to these goals?

  • Do you ​​have access to the resources you need to contribute effectively to these goals?

  • Do you have any questions you want to ask about any of our team or company goals?

  • Do you have any questions about the recent change involving X? (e.g., an announcement from CEO, merger, teams, etc.)

6. Personal Growth/Progress check-in

It’s important to understand how each team member feels they are progressing and where they are experiencing growth. This can relate to what they’re learning on the job and whether they are feeling a sense of achievement or momentum.

Use the responses to identify projects or areas of focus that will make them feel challenged or where they would like to grow more, so you can allocate these to them moving forward. This is also a great opportunity to identify where you can provide more developmental feedback to guide them in areas they need more support. Adjust the questions based on the length of time since you last had this type of conversation

  • How do you feel about your personal growth over the past X months?

  • What energizes you most in your current role?

  • What has challenged you most at work in the past X months?

  • What are you most proud of from your work over the past X months?

  • Is there a project or an initiative that has gone particularly well in the past X months?

  • What is something that could have gone better in recent months? Is there something you would have done differently?

  • What is your biggest learning over the past X months?

  • Are there any skills or behaviours in particular that you want to improve on?

  • Are there any blockers we can remove to help you progress further in these areas?

💡 Tip: Did you know you can create Private Notes for each direct report? This means you can easily check your notes from the last conversation to make sure you follow up on progress. These can also be helpful for inspiration when writing Performance Reviews.

7. Relationships check-in

Relationships with colleagues are often overlooked when it comes to 1:1s, but they can have a huge impact on people’s experience at work, and also how effective they are in their role. These questions can help uncover if there are any relationships causing issues or roadblocks in their work, as well as identifying if there are people you might be able to connect them with to help unblock them or provide mentorship.

This can also be a great opportunity to ask for feedback on your own relationship, and if there are any ways you can improve the way you work, together.

  • How is everything going with the people you work with/on your team?

  • How is everything going with the people you work with across other teams?

  • Are there any interactions that you would like to discuss? This could be because it is making your role difficult, or perhaps impacting your enjoyment of working here.

  • Are there any relationships that are making your job more difficult?

  • Are there any people in the company that we could introduce you to that might be able to help you in your role/project/career?

  • How do you feel about our relationship over the past X months?

  • Do you have any feedback for me, and how I could support you better in your role?

8. Uncovering Issues

These questions might be helpful if you’ve noticed a team member is feeling off or behaving differently, so you can uncover the cause and have a conversation to find a way to support them better. You may already have an idea of the cause, so only need to ask one of the questions listed below to uncover the reason.

It’s your decision which questions are appropriate to ask depending on your relationship and their emotional state when having the conversation.

  • How have your energy levels been recently?

  • Is there anything that has been causing you to feel frustrated in recent weeks?

  • Are there any decisions that are blocking you at the moment?

  • Do you have any observations about the team culture at the moment?

  • What do you think about the company culture currently?

  • Do you have any observations about the market and/or competition?

  • Are there any recent decisions that haven’t been clear to you that you might want more context about?

Next steps

  • Create and assign at least 3 action items for ways you can solve the issues uncovered

9. Performance Improvement check-in

These questions are valuable when you have a report who is underperforming, but there is no formal review coming up. It’s always better to have the conversation upfront, rather than waiting, as you may uncover clear reasons (and solutions!) earlier rather than waiting until things get worse.

  • How do you feel you have been performing in your role in the past X months/weeks?

  • Are you still clear on what is expected of you in your role?

  • Do you think these expectations are realistic?

  • Is there getting in the way of you meeting these expectations? (e.g. internal processes, time management issues, lack of resources or information)

  • Do you realize how your role fits into the bigger picture/why your work is important?

  • Do you receive enough feedback to be able to learn and grow in your role?

  • If not, why do you think you don’t receive enough feedback? How could we ensure you get more?

  • Do you feel comfortable asking for support when needed?

  • If not, how could we ensure you can ask for support when you need it?

  • What are action items and/or objectives we can agree on?

Are there any 1:1 question templates not available that you would like to see here? Please share these with us at support@impraise.com.

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