All you need is a One-on-One, One-on-One is all you need


As a company with a multi-cultural environment, with teammates from all over the country and several other countries, working with different technologies and some with independent teams, often we feel the need to gather and just chat. We talk about the matters that matter [sic], that are more macro about our daily lives.

What is a One-on-One for us

A One-on-One is a periodical 30-minute meeting (more or less), usually between a manager and a team member, with the goal of building trust and relationship. This is where we uncover potential issues, share and ask for feedback and connect as a team. It isn’t the place for status updates!

Recently, we gathered to discuss our One-on-One’s (at Near Partner; we call it O3) and we all agree the utmost importance of these meetings. It has been a bastion of our company culture from day 1, a perk. A space for openness, transparency, where everyone feels valued, respected and cared about.

As a family of diverse opinions, we weighted on what was going just great and what could be improved.

One thing that struck me, and that I’ve been thinking about almost daily, was that a few people felt the need to have one-on-ones with members of other teams, to build communication with whom they wouldn’t interact much otherwise. In my opinion, this kind of interaction is out of the scope of One-on-One’s. We need and should have moments to build this kind of relationship but there are so many other ways to do it…  marathons, for instance! But this is another whole blog post! 😀

At the end of the day, what kept me thinking was the thrive to build more meaningful relationships. I felt that we all care deeply about each other and that we just want more of it. We want to have time and means to nurture them, in and out of one-on-one’s!

 Why we do it?!

I mentioned this meeting with my wife and several of my non-technology working friends and they were all amazed. In these ultra-technological times, with all the communication abilities that the internet gives us, these techie guys felt the need to be face-to-face with each other.

And this was the main point that make me want to write this post… These connections drive us as persons.

Since we were kids, we behave, talk and dress like our peers, following this need of belonging to the group, be a part of the tribe. That’s why punks have spiky haircuts and the grunge guys wear the flannel shirts – to be part of something, to be part of a community that shares the same values.


We want to acknowledge and be acknowledged.

At our core, at the most deep of us [cheesy alert ON] we want to Love and be Loved [cheesy alert OFF] at several levels.

That’s what drives most of our attitudes and behaviours, what we seek in relationships. We were made to relate, not to be alone. No one can thrive alone.

We all know that the enterprise office life can be dehumanizing sometimes, focusing in financial objectives and obscure personal goals. It can help build many shallow relationships, where we spend more time with our colleagues than with our families but, at the same time, we feel displaced and not part of anything.

That’s the importance our one-on-one’s have to us.

It brings humanity to our office. It helps bring more meaningful relationships. It helps us feel a real part of something, where everyone has a voice, not just once but on a recurring basis.

And that’s why we are so happy working here.

What about you? Do you have regular one-on-one meetings with your teammates? What is the impact on the culture of your company and day-to-day work? Share your experience with us!

Nelson André

I'm amazed how tech can simplify peoples life's and help us focus on the really important things: the ones around us and our relationships.