Managing Up

525 people are learning this skill right now!
Managing up is the process of influencing, communicating with, and working effectively with one's manager or senior leaders in an organizational setting. It involves developing a positive relationship with your manager, understanding their priorities, and taking actions that support both their goals and your own. Managing up often includes demonstrating your value and contributions, and being proactive in taking initiative and providing solutions. It also involves understanding and working within the company's culture, political landscape, and power dynamics. The goal of managing up is to achieve mutual success, where you, your manager, and your senior leaders can accomplish your goals and succeed in your respective roles.
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  2. Benefits of Managing Up

    Managing 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.
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  3. 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.

    My manager doesn't notice all the ways I contribute to this team
    I'm sometimes surprised to find that my manager and I are not aligned when it comes to my role and responsibilities
    It's hard for me to address conflicts or issues with my manager directly, and that is impacting our relationship
    I want to do a better job managing my manager's expectations of what is possible or realistic in our currrent context
    I need to be more proactive when it comes to driving conversations with my manager
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  4. Industry-Standard Expectations for Managing Up

    These are performance expectations for managing up at different competency levels. Understanding these expectations can help you measure your own proficiency and orient your growth.

    Recognize the importance of managing up. Eager to learn the basics and apply best practices in the workplace.
    Understand the importance of managing up in a professional environment. Develop basic communication skills to effectively communicate with management.
    Understand the goals and priorities of management. Communicate effectively with management to provide updates and seek feedback.
    Proactively manage expectations with management to ensure alignment with team goals. Advocate for team resources and support from management.
    Anticipate and address potential issues before they arise to keep management informed and on track. Serve as a trusted advisor to management on technology strategy and planning.
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  5. How to Manage Up

    To 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.
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  6. Managing Up to Executives

    When 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.
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  7. Examples of Managing Up

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  8. Managing Up Cheat Sheet

    Here is a quick reference for the top 4 things you need to know about Managing Up.

    1. 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.
    2. Communicate Effectively
      • Use clear, concise, and articulate language.
      • Listen actively to understand their message.
      • Use positive language to ensure the conversation remains constructive.
    3. 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.
    4. Build Trust and Respect
      • Be honest, dependable, and reliable.
      • Respect their time and priorities.
      • Take responsibility for your actions and decisions.
  9. Common Managing Up Wins

    Here are common milestones and achievements that people reach when learning managing up. You can use them as inspiration to reach your own goals.

    Actively seeking feedback and incorporating it into my work has helped me build a strong relationship with my manager
    I got buy-in from my manager on a new project by framing it in a way that would resonate with them
    I effectively managed my manager's expectations on a project timeline by communicating early and often about potential roadblocks and risks
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  10. 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.