In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to manage up at work.
In recent years, the idea of ‘upward management’ has gained popularity in the corporate community.
As the term suggests, upward management is not so much about trying to manipulate or influence a manager as it is about taking the time to understand how their skills complement your own.
You and your manager will be comfortable talking about how to make the two personalities fit together better until you know all your strengths.
In a collaborative approach, you are more likely to improve working relationships and achieve previously unattainable goals – a win-win situation for everyone in the company.
How To Manage Up At Work
1. Recognise their strengths.
Your manager, just like anyone else, is a person who excels in certain ways.
So start paying more attention to the traits they display most often, whether it’s time management, focusing on the little things, or delegating tasks for optimal productivity.
This will also tell you a lot about what you need to know to connect with them. A manager’s prestige is also a good indicator of distinctive qualities.
Before you can make a real impact on your manager, you first need to understand what sets them apart.
2. Consider what aspects of your boss’s management style you like best.
Are they easy to relate to? Do you really get the impression that they are looking out for your best interests? What qualities do you both have in common?
The answers to these types of questions will give insight into how they do their best work.
Administrative knowledge is one thing, but employees are more likely to adapt to interpersonal skills.
3. Fixing your mistakes.
Identifying areas where leadership is ineffective will be beneficial in the long term. Perhaps they lack management skills or are unable to consider alternative views.
You will be able to avoid potential pitfalls if you know what they are and how to find them when the time comes to make critical choices in the real world.
Recognise that it is your and your team’s responsibility to fill in the gaps in your boss’s management style.
For example, if he doesn’t like to be corrected, find a way to point out disagreements that doesn’t immediately cause him to go on the defensive.
If you neutralise your boss’s flaws, his good qualities will take centre stage.
4. Get to know the employer personally.
If you don’t know who he is, you won’t know what he is about. Learn to look beyond your boss’s comments and behaviours to the vision behind them.
You will be able to find out what motivates them and organise goals accordingly.
Treat the manager as a companion- friends want to understand each other, not pass judgments and harbor grudges.
The more professional experience you have, the more seriously they will take you, and in return you will be more important to them.
5. Highlight your strengths.
As an employee, you should still strive to present your strongest possible side. Create a summary of your strengths and shortcomings as you perceive them.
If you’re running out of ideas, think of moments when your supervisor gave you a compliment or appreciated a trait.
Such cues will help you figure out what you do well and which aspects of your game are most important. Your best-known talents are usually the ones that come easily to you.
6. Use your strengths.
Make a list of your tasks, ranking them from most important to least important. Then focus your attention on what is most important.
Find time to talk to your manager about where they think most of your attention could be directed in a better direction.
One of the most important ways to manage and improve your business is to figure out what positions everyone is doing best in.
This often works in reverse: a strong boss will help you improve your shortcomings by providing feedback or subtle reminders.
7. Determine the most effective means of communication.
Whenever possible, try to speak to your manager in person (1), even if they are not passionate about such meetings.
If, on the other hand, they rarely have one-on-one meetings and don’t deliver a constant stream of emails and memos every day, you can be sure they will read every message you send to them.
If you need to respond to an email immediately, mark it as ‘urgent’ or ‘important’.
When it comes to conversation, every boss has their own preferences. Understanding them means you will have to get used to expressing yourself in ways you are not used to.
8. Double check that what you are saying is worthwhile.
For your plans to be accepted, you need to convince your boss that they are worthwhile. It’s often not enough to refer to proposals on their own merits.
Instead, present them in a way that makes them appreciate what they can achieve if given the chance.
Build an opportunity for them to look at the company through their manager’s eyes. Since they have the responsibility of ensuring the company’s success, learning to present your contribution from their own perspective will help you achieve the attention it needs.
9. Update them daily on your successes.
Traditionally, occasionally sit down with your manager for a nice chat or give them a short courtesy email at the end of each week.
Use these meetings to review company priorities and milestones, as well as to update on ongoing initiatives.
This shows that you take your responsibilities seriously and don’t need to be reminded to complete a report.
Reports should be written in conversational and descriptive language. Being diligent in summarising what is happening will also help you avoid an intrusive boss.
10. Instead of changing the manager, try to elevate them.
The goal is to get the best out of each other, not force them to follow your instructions. You never want to give the impression that you know better than they do.
This can give them the wrong idea about your motives.
It may be more helpful to think of what you are doing as ‘adapting’ to your boss’s actions rather than ‘managing’ them.
Remember that respect is paramount in any work partnership.
11. Don’t take on more than you are capable of.
When your employer recognises your value as an employee and your level of teamwork increases, they will ask you to do more than you are capable of.
Without complaining, let them know that you are on the verge of being overworked. And because you have always built yourself up as a team member, they are more likely to agree to compromise.
Everyone wants to please their manager, but it’s often easier to reject everything that’s been forced on you, especially if it means your effectiveness will suffer.
12. Resolve conflicts as quickly as possible.
There will be times when you and your boss do not agree on anything. Disagreements are normal, but if they remain unresolved, the friendship will collapse and become worse than it was before.
When problems arise, be the first person to try to bury the hatchet of war and keep working.
When problems arise, effective communication is just as (2) (if not more) important than when things are going smoothly.
13. Act as if the manager has the last word.
Managing upwards can be an effective technique for ensuring that the business machine is well tuned and operating at its optimum potential, but if attempted ineffectively (or too obviously), it can be counterproductive.
Know when it is appropriate to speak up and when it is better to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Don’t offer criticism or advice unless you have been specifically asked to do so. In other cases, you will simply have to accept “no” as an answer, even if you think it is unfair.
Thank you for reading this article about how to manage up at work and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you. +