Benefits of Managing UpManaging up can bring several benefits, including: * Improved work relationships: By establishing a positive and productive relationship with your manager, you can foster trust and open communication, leading to a more harmonious working relationship. * Better Alignment: By understanding your manager's priorities and goals, you can ensure your work is aligned with their needs and contribute to the company's success. * Career advancement: Demonstrating your value and ability to work effectively with your manager can increase your visibility and open up new opportunities for career growth and advancement. * Increased job satisfaction: By working effectively with your manager, you can achieve a better balance between your own goals and the demands of your role, leading to increased job satisfaction and motivation. * More effective decision-making: By being aware of the company's culture, political landscape, and power dynamics, you can make better decisions that take into account the broader context and achieve better outcomes.
Common Managing Up Challenges
These are common challenges people face when gaining expertise in managing up. Tackling these challenges head-on can help you learn this skill quicker.I'm a software engineer at a startup. I have identified a critical flaw in our development process that is causing delays and quality issues. When I tried to raise this concern to my manager, they dismissed it and insisted on sticking to the existing process. This friction prevents me from improving our workflow and delivering high quality results. What steps should I take to get my manager to understand the impact that this is having and to consider my suggestions?I'm a product leader at a midsized tech company. I've noticed that our team is lacking clear goals and direction from upper management. This lack of guidance makes it challenging for me to set priorities, allocate resources, and keep the team motivated. What steps should I use to manage up and communicate the need for clear goals and direction, so that our team can deliver successful outcomes?Work on your own challenge with the Practica AI Coach
How to Manage UpTo successfully Manage Up, employees should understand their manager's communication style, priorities, and goals. They should also be proactive in seeking feedback, building relationships, and aligning their work with the manager's expectations. Effective communication, trust, and mutual respect are key to successful Managing Up.
- A Tactical Guide to Managing Up: 30 Tips from the Smartest People We KnowThis compendium with contributions from 30 individuals across companies overs 7 topics: • Leave your assumptions at the door • Hone your delivery for communication that comes through loud-and-clear. • Boost your chances of hearing ‘yes’ to your ask • Get comfortable with feedback (on both sides of the table) • Set the tone in your 1:1s • Share your impact the right way • Build lasting rapport and trust
- Tweet Thread with 13 Tips for Managing UpWes' 13 tips include: • Make the best use of time & focus on the punchline. • Show your thought process • Offer solutions and flag issues • Turn complaints into opportunities
- How to manage up effectivelyClaire covers 5 tactical ways to build a better relationship with your manager: • Share progress more often than you typically would • Uncover your boss’ work preferences (even if they don’t do the same for you) • Build trust through your actions, not just your words • Foster real rapport • Get crystal clear on expectations
- Getting Real About Managing UpKellen specifically covers managing up for engineers, and covers tactics such as: • Get curious • Understand your manager and their job • Build a positive relationship • Make your manager look good • Help them see blind spots
Managing Up to ExecutivesWhen Managing Up to executives, employees should be strategic in their approach. They should focus on the company's overall goals and priorities, and demonstrate how their work contributes to those objectives. They should also be prepared to present data and make recommendations that align with the executive's vision. Building a strong relationship with the executive and understanding their communication style is crucial for success.
- Managing upwardsJames covers: • How to establish a relationship with a new manager • Agreeing on how much to communicate • Learning how your manager's performance is measured • Learning how your performance will be judged
What To Do When Your Manager is Too Hands-Off
- When Your Manager Isn't Supporting You, Build a VoltronWhen your manager doesn't give you enough feedback or support, Lara advises you to think about our resources that can help you: • Build a diverse mentor crew • Do your homework • Find a coach • Tailor your work with your manager
- How to Better Manage Your Poor ManagerJake explores the issue of ineffective managers and offers six strategies for employees to regain control. Despite substantial investments in managerial development, many managers struggle to provide adequate support due to a lack of self-awareness. Jake advises employees to choose between accepting, changing, or leaving the situation. Strategies include involving indecisive managers in decision-making, fostering a culture of Accountability, finding ways to engage disengaged managers, emphasizing the importance of feedback, managing conflicting priorities, and seizing the opportunity to support managers with technical gaps. By taking agency and positively influencing the situation, employees can navigate the challenges posed by ineffective managers.
Examples of Managing Up
- How to Manage UpChris provides excellent examples of managing up: • Proactively providing Status Updates on major projects • When you run into a major blocker, get feedback from peers and come up with possible creative solutions before escalating to your manager • Show you can be trusted with important projects by mitigating risks and providing a tracking sheet for at-a-glance progress updates
Managing Up Cheat Sheet
Here is a quick reference for the top 4 things you need to know about Managing Up.
- Understand Your Boss
- Study your boss's working style, communication preferences, and priorities.
- Observe their leadership style, tone, and communication patterns.
- Identify their goals, expectations, and preferences.
- Communicate Effectively
- Use clear, concise, and articulate language.
- Listen actively to understand their message.
- Use positive language to ensure the conversation remains constructive.
- Proactively Manage Your Boss
- Anticipate their needs and prepare ahead of time.
- Propose solutions to problems instead of just presenting issues.
- Manage your boss's schedule and workload by providing clear and realistic timelines.
- Build Trust and Respect
- Be honest, dependable, and reliable.
- Respect their time and priorities.
- Take responsibility for your actions and decisions.
- Understand Your Boss
Frequently asked questions
What are the key components of effective managing up?
The key components of effective managing up include understanding your manager's goals and priorities, adapting to their communication style, being proactive in providing updates and solutions, and building a strong relationship based on trust and mutual respect.
How can I better understand my manager's goals and priorities?
To better understand your manager's goals and priorities, schedule regular check-ins or one-on-one meetings to discuss their expectations and objectives. Additionally, pay attention to their actions and decisions, as these can provide insight into their priorities. You can also ask for clarification on specific tasks or projects to ensure you are aligned with their expectations.
How can I adapt to my manager's communication style?
Observe how your manager communicates with you and others, and try to mirror their style. For example, if they prefer concise emails, make sure your messages are brief and to the point. If they prefer face-to-face conversations, make an effort to discuss important matters in person. By adapting to their communication style, you can ensure that your messages are received and understood more effectively.
How can I be proactive in providing updates and solutions?
To be proactive in providing updates and solutions, make sure you are consistently meeting deadlines and delivering high-quality work. Regularly update your manager on your progress, and if you encounter any challenges, present them with potential solutions rather than just reporting the problem. This demonstrates your initiative and problem-solving skills, which can help build trust and credibility with your manager.
What are some effective strategies for managing up in a remote work environment?
In a remote work environment, effective strategies for managing up include maintaining regular communication through virtual meetings, emails, or instant messaging; setting clear expectations and deadlines for tasks and projects; being proactive in providing updates and solutions; and making an effort to build rapport and maintain a strong working relationship despite the physical distance.
How can I manage up without overstepping boundaries or appearing too pushy?
To manage up without overstepping boundaries or appearing too pushy, focus on being supportive and helpful rather than trying to control or dictate your manager's actions. Be respectful of their time and priorities, and offer assistance or solutions when appropriate. Additionally, maintain open communication and ask for feedback to ensure you are meeting their expectations and not crossing any boundaries.