Book Review: Glad We Met

Over the past 20 years, I have probably conducted over 5,000 1-2-1 meetings with clients. Some went better than others. While I do have extensive experience in facilitating meetings, I still have a lot to learn.

Based on research collected over 20 years from managers, team members, and top leaders from highly respected companies, Dr. Steven Rogelberg wrote what might be the best book available on conducting 1-2-1 meetings, I’m Glad We Met. A professor at UNC-Charlotte, Rogelberg also wrote The Surprising Science of Meetings, recognized by the Washington Post as one of the 10 best books on leadership.

In I’m Glad We Met, Rogelberg covers several important topics, including:

  • Why 1-2-1 meetings are important
  • How to message and position the 1-2-1 meeting for maximum value
  • How to find the right meeting cadence and length
  • How to personalize your approach to 1-2-1 meetings
  • How to design the 1-2-1 meeting with the right agenda

Here are several key takeaways from the book:

  • Nearly 50% of all 1-2-1 meetings are rated as suboptimal by team members.
  • Well-executed 1-2-1 meetings should save managers time.
  • The key to successful 1-2-1 meetings is that they are the team member’s meeting orchestrated and supported by you.
  • No research suggests you can do too many 1-2-1 meetings. There is ample research suggesting you can do too few. The ideal number of monthly 1-2-1 meetings is four (4).
  • The highest rate locations for a 1-2-1 meeting are the manager’s office or a conference room. A slight majority of employees prefer in-person meetings to virtual ones.
  • Approximately 50% of 1-2-1 meetings have a written agenda. These meetings have a more positive rating than those without an agenda. The ratings were higher with an agenda created jointly by the manager and the direct report or by the direct solely.
  • The biggest predictor of 1-2-1 meeting value is the direct report’s active participation in the meeting.

I wish I had read this book 20 years ago, and I highly recommend it to any leader conducting 1-2-1 meetings with direct reports. Purchase a copy of Glad We Met today. This is a paid link.