Managers Need To Know How To Mange Up

You can’t assume that your good work will speak for you
You can’t assume that your good work will speak for you
Image Credit: Degan Walters

What’s your plan for getting promoted from the manager position that you currently have? You’d like to get kicked upstairs, but just exactly how are you going to go about making that happen? A lot of us hope that the quality of the work that we do will speak for us and our bosses will notice us and our manager skills and will then promote us. Good idea; however, all too often it does not work out this way. We need to learn how to “manage up”. This one skill is the one that will shape your career. Do you know how to do it?

Secrets To Managing Up

So, just exactly what is this “managing up” thing? Managing up is the process by which you build a smooth and productive relationship with your upper management. In order to accomplish this, you are going to have to both understand and adapt to the way that your boss likes to communicate and how they like to make decisions. What you need to understand is that the quality of your work will probably not be enough to get you promoted going forward.

This set of skills is very important. The problem that managers are now facing is that their firms are not stepping up to help them master these skills. More and more firms are starting to move their training dollars from middle management to the training of upper management. In the past two years, there has been a notable decrease in the number of firms that are spending at least US$1,000 per middle management employee on manager training. However, at the same time the amount that firms are willing to spend on training senior management has grown to 58% from 55% the year before.

When it comes to finding out how to manage your boss, a good way to start the process is by asking them to explain how they want you to communicate with them. Some bosses will take the time to sit down with you and explain how they want you to communicate with them. Other bosses will prefer that you offer them multiple options for how to communicate with them that they can then choose from. A key point to keep in mind is that if you find yourself in a situation in which you have to bring a problem to your bosses attention, make sure that you also have at least one potential solution to present to him or her. It should also go without saying that you always need to respect your boss’ time during any interaction.

How To Do A Better Job Of Managing Up

Every manager will have a need to consult with their boss about one or more issues. How you go about doing this can be a key part of your “manage up” strategy. What you don’t want to do is to rush into your bosses office every time that you have a question for them. A much better approach to this challenge is to queue your questions up and when you have a meaningful number, say 10, go find your boss and offer to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time by going over your list. By doing this you’ll allow your boss to spend more time thinking about your questions and you should be able to get more thoughtful answers out of him or her.

One mistake that a lot of managers make is to allow their boss’ personality to come across as a sign to them. They may think that their boss is trying to annoy them or some other negative factor. What we need to remember is that there is a good chance that your boss’ actions probably have less thought behind them and are simply a result of the differences between how the two of you both see things and make decisions. Take the time to watch how your boss communicates and makes decisions. You need to find out if they are quick to react or do they take time to consider all issues? You’ll want to know if they take the time to focus on facts or do they use their personal insights to make decisions.

One of the most important things that a manager needs to do is to take the time to fully understand their boss’ priorities. The reason for this is because a small error on your part may look like a huge failure to your boss simply because they are responsible for so much more. What we need to keep in mind is that our performance can have a big impact on your boss’s career success. Likewise, it is going to be worth your time to find out what actually motivates your boss. You should also take the time to learn what the unwritten rules of your workplace are. How are disagreements handled? Is it permissible to interrupt a meeting? You need to learn how your boss wants to deal with things.

What All Of This Means For You

One of the most important tasks that a manager can do is to successfully “manage up”. What this means is that they need to have a positive relationship with their boss, do some team building, and understand how they think. Your ability to get promoted to the next level in your company may depend on how well you can accomplish this task.

As managers, we often think that the quality of our work is what will get us our next promotion. It turns out that this is not the case. It’s your relationship with your boss that will probably determine when / if you get promoted. The challenge that managers are facing is that their companies are not training them in how to create and maintain a good working relationship with their boss. How you do your work can have a big impact on your boss’s career. You need to make sure that you understand their priorities. When you need to talk with your boss, make sure that you discuss several things instead of wasting their time talking about just one thing. Your boss may seem like they are trying to annoy you. They probably are not. Take the time to understand where your boss is coming from. In order to get that promotion, you are going to have to make sure that you understand what motivates your boss.

Getting the manager job that you have today was a major accomplishment. However, now you need to be thinking about what it is going to take in order to get you to the next level in the company. In order to get that promotion, you are going to have to “manage up” and create a good working relationship with your boss. Take the time to do this right and then you can watch your career take off.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How much time each day do you think that a manager should spend on improving their relationship with their boss?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As a manager you are in charge of a team of people who have to do what you tell them to do. However, at the same time you work for a boss who can tell you what to do. What this means for you (and your career) is that you’d like to be able to use your manager skills to create the best working relationship with your boss that you can. However, the mystery here is just exactly how to go about doing that. It turns out that it’s pretty easy, you just need to know what steps you need to take.