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Building Rapport as a New Manager: The Power of One-on-One Meetings

Jun 22, 2023

As a new manager, you're faced with the challenge of winning over your team while establishing yourself as a leader. Building rapport is crucial for fostering trust, openness, and collaboration. One of the most effective ways to do this is through one-on-one meetings with each team member. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of these meetings and provide actionable tips for making them successful.

Why One-on-One Meetings Matter

Taking the time to get to know your team members on a personal level is essential for new managers. It signals that you're approachable, open to feedback, and genuinely interested in their well-being. One-on-one meetings provide a dedicated space for open communication, helping to:

1. Strengthen relationships
2. Understand individual strengths and challenges
3. Address concerns and gather feedback
4. Set goals and align expectations

With these benefits in mind, let's dive into some practical tips for making the most of your one-on-one meetings.

Tips for Successful One-on-One Meetings

1. Schedule Regularly

Consistency is key when it comes to building rapport. Schedule one-on-one meetings regularly, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on your team size and needs. Establishing a routine shows that you prioritize these interactions and value individual relationships.

2. Set an Agenda

To make the most of your time together, prepare an agenda before each meeting. This helps keep the conversation focused and ensures that important topics are covered. Encourage team members to contribute to the agenda, fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration.

3. Create a Safe Space

One-on-one meetings should be a safe space for open and honest communication. Encourage team members to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of judgment. As a new manager, it's essential to listen actively, ask open-ended questions, and validate their feelings.

4. Offer Support and Guidance

Use one-on-one meetings as an opportunity to provide support and guidance. Help team members identify areas for growth and work together to develop strategies for improvement. Celebrate successes and acknowledge progress, reinforcing a growth mindset and a culture of continuous learning.

5. Follow Up

Don't let the conversation end when the meeting is over. Follow up on action items, progress, and feedback to show that you're committed to their success and genuinely invested in their well-being. This follow-through helps build trust and reinforces the value of these meetings.


Building rapport as a new manager is essential for fostering a collaborative and trust-based work environment. One-on-one meetings provide a powerful tool for strengthening relationships, understanding individual needs, and offering support. By scheduling regular meetings, setting an agenda, creating a safe space, offering guidance, and following up, you can set the stage for a successful and dynamic team.

Key Takeaways:

1. One-on-one meetings are essential for building rapport and fostering trust within your team.
2. Schedule regular meetings to show your commitment to individual relationships and open communication.
3. Prepare an agenda and encourage team member input to ensure focused and productive conversations.
4. Create a safe space for open and honest communication by actively listening and validating feelings.
5. Offer support and guidance to help team members grow and develop in their roles.
6. Follow up on action items and progress to reinforce the value of one-on-one meetings and demonstrate your investment in your team's success.

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