Skip Level One-on-Ones

Thursday July 28th 2022 by SocraticDev

Skip level One-on-Ones is not a new idea in the workplace's realm. But I had never heard of it until today.

Even the concept of One-on-Ones between an Individual Contributor (IC) and his manager was new to me until I joined the organization to which I have been working for about a year.

One-on-One is a regular meeting between an employee and his manager. This is not an evaluation of employee performance. It's a time dedicated to the employee to discuss with his manager his ideas, his ambitions and challenges at work.

"Ninety minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate's work for two weeks, or for some eighty-plus hours" Andy Grove - former CEO and Intel co-founder

Skip level One-on-Ones

"A skip level one-on-one is a meeting where you — as a senior manager, VP, or CEO — meet with people who within your or who aren't direct reports. They are a way for you to get more visibility into the day-to-day work that's happening and how your managers are doing."

The idea for a senior executive to meet with front-line employees regularly seems unrealistic. However, it is mentioned that at Netflix, of senior executives are able to meet more than 100 annually individual contributors.

Among management gurus, one maintains that it is a sound investment. It is said that it is by seeing the portion of time that a frame superior devotes to an aspect of the organization that we understand what is important to him.

"I'm comfortable stating that not having skip level 1 on 1s is abdicating your responsibility as someone who manages a manager." propos d'un One manager ['lighthouse blog'] spoke to even went as far as saying this above


Adopting the practice of skip level One-on-One is not without risks. Not only, this practice requires planning and requires more work. This practice breaks with the commonly accepted 'Chain of command' culture; A hierarchical, almost military vision of the workplace. We must therefore anticipate discomfort on the part of contributors individuals who do not have the opportunity to discuss frankly with senior direction. Especially if they suspect and abhor the inherent politics of any interaction unrelated to their day-to-day work performance.

Are the managers under your leadership going to feel their role restored? question?

As an individual contributor, can I get into trouble talking openly with a senior executive?



The individual contributor role is to contribute to the success of his team and organization. The role of the manager is to ensure the best performance of his team. And senior manager's role (manager of managers) is to develop the leadership skills of its managers. Ensure the culture and desired behaviors within their department.

According to Ben Horowitz, partner at the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, the role of a CEO is to improve the communication architecture and the flow of information within his organization.

Meeting on a cyclical basis with individual contributors allows senior leaders to know what is going on in their organization.

It's an investment that pays off.

  • Allows the senior executive to help their managers grow by offering them mentorship;
  • Allows teams to improve by knowing their objectives and challenges;
  • Gives the opportunity to recognize and encourage good moves;
  • Reduce the rate of staff turnover by detecting and remedying dissatisfaction that cannot be addressed by their immediate superior.

What would socraticDev discuss at a Skip Level One-on-One?

First, it is as an individual contributor that it would take place 😀

I would take a moment with a senior leader in my organization to exchange information.

Of course, I would be happy to discuss the projects that are close to my heart.

Above all, I would take the opportunity to ask questions about the health of the projects in Classes. On the obstacles to come. On what the success of a project or a product means to him/her.

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