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Managing Up Meeting Template

Need to manage up? Use this to communicate effectively, set expectations, and get buy-in.

Created by Brennan 👋

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Managing Up Meeting Template

Walkthrough

Managing Up Meeting

As a manager, it's important to be proactive about potential changes at the company, and to equip yourself with all the knowledge you need to make quick decisions. One way to do this is to have a discussion with your boss about the current state of your team, and use the rest of your 1:1 to calibrate based on your execs company/industry updates. This discussion can help you and your team gain a better understanding of what needs to be done and prepare for any potential changes.


Why manage up?

Managing up is important in order to effectively communicate, set expectations, and get buy-in from your boss.

There are a few reasons why bosses like it when employees manage up. First, it shows that the employee is proactive and is willing to take initiative to get things done. This is especially important in times of change or turmoil, when quick decisions need to be made. Second, it demonstrates that the employee is invested in the company and is looking out for its best interests. Finally, it gives the boss an opportunity to provide feedback and guidance to the employee, which can help them improve their performance.


Managing up Meeting Template Walk-through



First, upward updates:

Starting with upward updates helps to set the context for the rest of the conversation. It also helps the manager to proactively share information with their boss, rather than waiting for their boss to bring it up. This way, the boss can provide updates and feedback as needed, rather than being caught off guard by potential changes.



1. Update on expenses: How much we're spending, costs reduced/added, green/red on budget.

Updates on expenses is important because it helps give your boss a better understanding of where you and your team are spending money. It also helps you identify any areas where you may be able to cut costs. Or any strategically important areas to increase spend.

Additionally, it shows that you're proactive about managing your team's budget and expenses.


2. Update on the team: Team allocation to projects, hiring updates, team morale.

This is important to discuss with your boss because it will give them a better understanding of what's happening on your team, and how your team is responding to the current climate. This information can help your boss make informed decisions about the company, and help you prepare for any potential changes.


3. Update on Goals: Best case, most likely and worst case scenarios for hitting goals.

It's important for your boss to know what your team's goals are, and how you're tracking against them. This way, they can provide relevant feedback and updates that can help you adjust your goals if needed. By discussing the different scenarios, you can also come up with a plan of action together in case the worst case scenario happens.



Then, go into discussion topics/ working sessions

Each week you should share potential discussion topics in advance to give time for you boss to prep. These should look different depending on the state of the industry/company/team.



4. Any broader company updates?

This question is important because it allows you to get a sense of what's happening at the company, and how it might impact your team. It's also a way to show that you're proactive and interested in the company's overall health and well-being.


5. Do I need to recalibrate goals/team/expenses based on what you know?

Asking this question allows you to gauge how your team's current state aligns with the company's goals. If there's a disconnect, you can proactivelt make necessary adjustments to get everyone back on track.


6. Any messaging I need to share with my team?

The purpose of this question is to ensure that you're on the same page with your boss about what needs to be communicated to your team. It's important to be transparent with your team about what's happening at the company, and this will help avoid any rumors.


Other questions to consider adding through the week

Some other example discussions for a managing up meeting could be:

  1. How is the company performing against its goals?
  2. What is the status of any current or upcoming projects?
  3. Are there any changes to company policy that will affect the team?
  4. What is the company's plans for the future?
  5. Are there any areas of concern that the team should be aware of?
  6. Is there anything the team can do to improve its performance?






After the meeting

The manager should document the conversation with their boss, and any action items that come out of it. Share those notes the same day.

Then, the manager should use the information gathered in the meeting to adjust their team's goals, budget, and projects as needed. They should also be prepared to communicate any updates to their team, and be transparent about any changes that may be happening at the company.

About this template

As a manager, it's important to be proactive about potential changes at the company, and to equip yourself with all the knowledge you need to make quick decisions. This is a template for those who need to manage up to an executive, communicate effectively, set expectations, and get buy-in.

Posted on Jun 9, 2022

Managing Up Meeting FAQs

How long should a managing up meeting be?

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You should initially set your managing up meetings for 30min-1hr with your team. If you prepare and share an agenda in advance you're likely to get through more faster.

How often should you have managing up meetings?

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Most managing up meetings tend to occur weekly or biweekly. As you go through a few iterations of them you may need to increase or decrease the frequency.

How do you structure a managing up meeting?

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You should think about deviding the meeting into 2 sections: Upward Updates (Manager to Exec), Discussion Topics (Questions for Exec). Then adding the following managing up meeting topics, where appropriate:

  • Update on expenses: how much we're spending, costs reduced/added, green/red on budget.
  • Update on the team: team allocation to projects, hiring updates, team morale.
  • Update on goals: best case, most likely and worst case scenarios for hitting goals.
  • Any broader company updates?
  • Do I need to recalibrate goals/team/expenses based on what you know?
  • Any messaging I need to share with my team?

What should you discuss during a managing up meeting?

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6 great things to discuss in your Managing Up Meeting:

  • Update on expenses: how much we're spending, costs reduced/added, green/red on budget.
  • Update on the team: team allocation to projects, hiring updates, team morale.
  • Update on goals: best case, most likely and worst case scenarios for hitting goals.
  • Any broader company updates?
  • Do I need to recalibrate goals/team/expenses based on what you know?
  • Any messaging I need to share with my team?

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About the Author

Brennan 👋

Brennan McEachran is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hypercontext, a suite of tools to help leaders and their teams streamline objectives, meetings and morale into one workflow. He has spent more than a decade in the leadership and employee engagement space building apps to create better relationships between managers and their teams.

Follow him on twitter.