Skip-level Meetings: How To Run & Prepare For Them?

skip-level meeting

Are you a leader looking for the best way to ensure your team performs at its highest level?

Get ready to take your team’s performance to the next level! Skip-level meetings are a great way to do just that!

This post will cover how to run skip-level meetings and prepare for them if needed.

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What Are Skip-level Meetings?

Skip-level meetings are a type of communication between managers and their subordinates’ subordinates.

They provide a unique opportunity for individuals to discuss problems, solutions, and ideas through open dialogue without the presence of their direct supervisor.

Additionally, these meetings allow the manager insight into what is happening below them on the corporate ladder, which can be beneficial when developing strategies for improvement.

By providing employees with an avenue for voicing their opinions, skip-level meetings have proven to be a valuable tool for many companies in terms of fostering collaboration and innovation among staff.

What Is The Purpose of Skip-level Meetings?

skip-level meeting

Skip-level meetings are an essential tool for businesses and organizations to ensure effective communication between all levels of management.

By having regular meetings between upper management and lower-level staff, organizations can gain valuable insight into the working environment and better understand the needs of their employees.

These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss topics that may not be addressed during the regular business course, helping foster collaboration and understanding between different departments. Additionally, skip-level meetings can help identify improvement areas and reveal potential problems before they become too large to handle.

At its core, the purpose of a skip-level meeting is to create an open dialogue between various levels of leadership while allowing employees at different levels in the organization to voice their opinions and ideas. By having team members from all departments attend, companies can ensure that everyone’s voices are heard and considered.

Skip-Level Meetings’ Modus Operandi

A. Set an Agenda

When running a successful skip-level meeting, setting an agenda is vital. A plan can help you stay on track during the meeting and ensure everyone gets a chance to contribute. It keeps everyone focused and organized as you discuss important topics and make decisions.

An excellent way to start is by writing down the main topics or goals for the meeting at the top of your agenda. This will help you remember what needs to be discussed and keep everyone focused throughout the meeting.

Once you’ve set the objectives, it’s time to break them down into smaller tasks or actions that need to be completed.

If possible, it’s helpful to add in some time frames so that each discussion point can be addressed within a certain amount of time; this helps ensure that nothing gets overlooked during the meeting and keeps it running efficiently.

Additionally, if someone has something they would like to present or discuss, set aside time so they can fully explain their ideas before moving on to the next topic.

B. Invite the Right People

When running successful skip-level meetings, one of the most critical components is deciding who to invite.

You want to ensure that the meeting has a good balance of participants from different departments and levels of the organization. Otherwise, it cannot be easy to get a meaningful conversation going. By thoughtfully selecting who you invite, you can set up your meeting for success.

First, identify any stakeholders who need to be involved in the conversation. This could include members from upper management and representatives from each relevant department. If applicable, you may also consider inviting team members from different locations or remote offices.

In addition, consider inviting any individuals who have specific expertise or experience that could be beneficial for the meeting. For example, someone with a background in customer service might have helpful insights into customer feedback, while an engineer might be able to provide technical insight into a product launch.

C. Create a Safe & Open Space

Regular meeting

Creating a safe and open space for skip-level meetings is essential for ensuring everyone feels comfortable and can share openly.

To do this, it is important to set ground rules at the beginning of the meeting that encourages mutual respect and constructive dialogue. An excellent way to do this is to create an ‘agenda’ where everyone in the forum can contribute their thoughts on the topics that will be discussed.

Establishing ground rules around confidentiality can help with this, as it reassures participants that their opinions will not be shared without their consent. Finally, providing an environment where people feel comfortable asking questions and giving feedback is vital to creating a safe and open space.

This can be done by ensuring everyone has a chance to speak and allowing time for discussion and questions after each topic has been addressed. By following these tips, skip-level meetings can become spaces where everyone feels free to share ideas openly and honestly.

D. Assign Roles & Responsibilities

In Skip-level meetings, assigning roles and responsibilities is critical to ensuring the meeting is productive and successful.

As the facilitator of the meeting, it’s important to give specific roles and responsibilities to those in attendance. Doing so will help ensure everyone knows what they’re responsible for and that the meeting runs smoothly.

The facilitator should assign roles such as a timekeeper, a note-taker, a facilitator, and a rapporteur. The timekeeper’s role is to ensure that each topic discussed stays within its allotted time frame. The note taker should take notes of any key points discussed during the meeting.

The facilitator should guide the conversation by asking questions and making sure everyone has an opportunity to speak. Finally, the rapporteur should summarize any decisions made during the meeting at its conclusion.

How to Prepare for Skip-level Meetings?

weekly stand-up meeting agenda 2023

A. Gather Data and Information

Gathering data and information is essential in preparing for a skip-level meeting. Having up-to-date, accurate information about the topics discussed during the meeting is crucial. This data will help you better understand the conversation’s context and anticipate potential questions or concerns.

First, identify key stakeholders who should provide input for the meeting. These stakeholders can include people from other departments or levels within your organization, customers, suppliers, partners, and external experts in the subject matter.

Once you have identified these stakeholders, collect relevant data that can be used during the meeting. This data might include market research reports, customer surveys, financial documents, competitive analysis reports, and project summaries.

B. Know the Organization’s Mission & Values

Skip-level meetings are an essential part of the workplace.

They provide a unique opportunity for leaders to understand their employees and the organization better.

To prepare for this type of meeting, understand the main objectives, including what questions you may need to ask and what topics should be discussed. Next, research the company’s mission statement and values so that you can relate them to your questions and discussion points during the meeting.

Doing so will also ensure that you are well-versed in how the company operates so that you can effectively communicate those ideologies during your conversations with employees.

Additionally, make sure to review any relevant documents or reports to be familiar with their contents before discussing them.

C. Identify Key Stakeholders

Skip-level meetings are a great way to connect with stakeholders across various levels of management.

However, for these meetings to be successful, it’s essential to correctly identify key stakeholders and ensure they are included in the process.

The goal of skip-level meetings is to foster open communication between higher-level executives and lower-level staff. It’s important to include both senior leaders and front-line employees in these meetings so that everyone involved has a chance to voice their opinions and contribute their knowledge.


Skip-level meetings can be a precious tool for communicating with employees throughout the organization. When organized correctly, they can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all relevant information is shared effectively.



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