Career & Jobs

Managing Up: The Unwritten Rule

Early in my career, was taken out by a wave I never saw coming and was fired. This happened because I failed to manage up.

Honestly, I hadn’t a clue that I needed to manage up. I never heard of this concept until years later.

For those unfamiliar with this term, managing up is about managing your boss and those above you, so you can get the resources you need to succeed in your job.

Managing up is an area where many of my coaching clients struggle. The good news is that this is a skill that can be improved.

Here are some tips on how to manage up effectively:

1. Understand your boss’s priorities and goals. Take the time to understand what drives your boss and their priorities. This will help you align your work with their preferences and objectives, making it easier for them to support you.

2. Communicate clearly and regularly. Keep your boss informed about your progress and any challenges you may be facing. Be proactive in seeking feedback and advice and be open to constructive criticism.

3. Show your value. Demonstrate how your work contributes to the company’s goals and how you are making a positive impact. Share your ideas and successes and be willing to take on new challenges. I call this shameless promotion.

4. Build a strong relationship. Build a strong working relationship with your boss by being reliable, responsive, and respectful. Show a genuine interest in their work and take the time to get to know them as a person.

5. Be adaptable. Be open to change and be willing to adjust your approach if necessary. Show your boss that you are flexible and can handle new challenges.

It’s understandable that you have a lot on your plate and that it may feel overwhelming to think about one more thing. However, this topic is too important to ignore.

By following these tips, you can build a strong working relationship with your boss and positively impact your organization. Remember, effective management is a two-way street; both parties must strive for a healthy and productive work environment.

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