Managing up has become a crucial skill in today’s fast-paced and competitive business world. As professionals, understanding the concept of managing up and its significance can be a game-changer for our careers. With my extensive experience as an author, entrepreneur, and management consultant in the IT industry, business, and management for over 12 years, I have witnessed firsthand the power and effectiveness of managing up. In this blog, we will explore the meaning of managing up, delve into why it is so important in the workplace, and provide practical tips and strategies that you can implement to successfully manage up and drive your professional growth and success. Get ready to discover a skill that can have a profound impact on your career trajectory. Let’s dive in!
What is managing up?
In the professional sphere, the term “managing up” pertains to an employee’s proactive initiative to establish a productive and harmonious relationship with their superior. By taking ownership of this critical dynamic, individuals strive to improve overall workplace productivity. This involves adopting a proactive communication strategy, familiarizing oneself with the supervisor’s objectives and preferences, and competently fulfilling their requests. The ability to manage superiors is an essential skill for those seeking to advance in their career. By fostering a positive working relationship with their supervisor and working collaboratively towards shared goals, employees can significantly enhance their chances of earning a well-deserved promotion.
How do you manage up?
In professional environments, the ability to effectively manage upwards is a crucial skill. Establishing a positive and productive working relationship with one’s manager or supervisor is contingent upon the fundamental principles of mutual respect, timely responsiveness to requests, and transparent and candid communication. To ensure that one is proficiently managing upwards, it is recommended to consider the following suggestions:
- Establish Mutual Respect: It is imperative to exhibit admiration and appreciation towards one’s manager for their expertise, experience, and guidance. Actively listening to their ideas and opinions and acknowledging their contributions is crucial. Demonstrating respect fosters a positive and collaborative atmosphere, which in turn facilitates smoother interactions.
- Timely Response: It is imperative to promptly attend to your manager’s requests or inquiries in a professional manner. By promptly delivering updates or progress reports, you showcase your dedication to their priorities, thereby establishing a sense of trust and confidence in your capabilities. This exemplifies your reliability and professionalism, further solidifying your professional reputation.
- Open Communication: Promote effective and transparent communication channels with your supervisor to foster a productive working relationship. Take the initiative to share pertinent information, updates, and any obstacles you may encounter. Consistently update your manager on the progress of your projects and actively seek their guidance or feedback whenever necessary. By maintaining open lines of communication, you establish a sense of transparency, enabling your manager to provide valuable insights that can contribute to your success.
- Understand Their Expectations: It is advisable to proactively comprehend your manager’s expectations and priorities. Consistently endeavor to obtain lucidity on their goals and objectives to synchronize your work accordingly. By competently managing their expectations, you can guarantee that your endeavors are in line with their vision, thereby enhancing your likelihood of success.
- Be Solutions-Oriented: It is advisable to adopt a proactive approach when discussing challenges or obstacles, by not only identifying the issues but also proposing viable solutions. This demonstrates your problem-solving skills and showcases your ability to independently tackle issues, which is highly appreciated by managers. Keeping them informed of your progress is also crucial in maintaining effective communication within the team.
- Seek Opportunities for Growth: Demonstrate your dedication to professional development by proactively pursuing opportunities for growth and improvement. Solicit feedback from your manager to pinpoint areas where you can augment your skills or knowledge. By exhibiting a keenness to learn and evolve, you showcase your commitment to personal and organizational progress.
- Build Relationships: Expand your professional network beyond your immediate team and cultivate relationships with colleagues and stakeholders from various departments. This will allow you to benefit from a wide range of perspectives, gain access to valuable resources, and establish a support system that can help you navigate the complexities of the organization.
In summary, the ability to manage upwards is a crucial competency for achieving professional advancement. This can be accomplished by cultivating a relationship of mutual respect, demonstrating prompt responsiveness, maintaining transparent communication, comprehending expectations, adopting a solutions-focused approach, pursuing opportunities for personal development, and fostering positive connections. By conscientiously applying these strategies, one can foster a cooperative and encouraging workplace culture that promotes individual growth and contributes to the overall success of the organization.
Why is managing up important?
The effectiveness of your professional relationship with your supervisor or manager relies on your ability to effectively manage upwards. A high level of proficiency in understanding your superior’s preferred communication methods, work approach, and overall goals will greatly enhance your capacity to successfully manage upwards.
When you manage effectively, you can:
- Build trust and credibility with your boss: Exhibit your unwavering dependability and exceptional expertise by proactively anticipating the requirements of others and surpassing their expected results.
- Enhance communication: In situations where there are contrasting communication styles between you and your supervisor, it is recommended to foster a shared understanding by actively pursuing a mutually acceptable approach.
- Increase job satisfaction: Developing a positive and productive relationship with your supervisor can greatly contribute to fostering a strong sense of belonging in the workplace and boosting your overall morale.
- Improve performance: Focusing on the goals set by your supervisor can significantly boost your productivity. This involves carefully recognizing and addressing their needs and concerns.
In order to advance in one’s professional trajectory and cultivate harmonious relationships with colleagues and superiors, it is essential for every employee to attain adept management skills.
3 must-read books about Managing Up
Developing the skill to proficiently navigate upward management can pave the way for career advancements and foster enhanced rapport with higher-ranking authorities. Presented below are five noteworthy literary works on leadership, meticulously curated to aid in your journey towards becoming a more adept manager:
- “Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss” by Mary Abbajay – Abbajay provides valuable insights on effectively engaging with higher-ranking individuals within the professional setting. Her expertise encompasses a wide range of topics, including navigating difficult circumstances, enhancing communication skills, fostering problem-solving abilities, and establishing trust-based relationships.
- “Managing Up: 59 Ways to Build a Career-Advancing Relationship with Your Boss” by Rosanne Badowski and Roger Gittines – Badowski, a former executive assistant to the former CEO of GE, Jack Welch, imparts valuable insights and strategies for fostering positive relationships with superiors. This book offers guidance on effective communication, problem-solving, and navigating office politics to enhance workplace productivity and success.
- “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” by Gary Chapman and Paul White – This book does not solely focus on the concept of managing up; however, it does offer valuable insights on how to enhance professional relationships with colleagues. The authors emphasize the importance of acknowledging and understanding the diverse ways in which individuals perceive and value appreciation. By adhering to the guidelines presented in this book, you can effectively enhance your working relationship with your manager.
These publications aim to assist individuals in navigating the intricacies of upper-level management by offering practical guidance, methodologies, and valuable insights. By dedicating time to reading and effectively implementing the information provided within, you can enhance your capacity to impress superiors and advance your career within the corporate hierarchy.