LEADING OTHERS: Managing Up
Learning to work with your boss and other superiors to achieve the best results is an important skill for effective leadership.
What is "managing up"?
Managing up means taking responsibility for your own success by establishing and managing mutually beneficial relationships with your boss and other superiors. The goal is not to curry favor, but to be more effective.
What are the keys to managing up effectively?
There are three main things to think about when building a relationship with a boss or superior:
Understanding the Boss
Appreciate his/her goals, pressures, strengths and weaknesses
Be sensitive to his/her work style
Remember: the goal isn't to change him/her, but to understand how to work together
Identify traits that may impede or facilitate your relationship
Recognize the mutual independence between you and your boss to both offer and seek support
Developing and Managing the Relationship
Identify differences in work styles and adjust to accommodate your boss
Discuss mutual expectations to clarify that they are realistic and understood
Be careful not to underestimate the amount of information your boss wants
Make reliable commitments and avoid surprises
Be selective in how you use your boss’ time
How do I accommodate my boss' work style?
Gabarro and Kotter provide these tips for adjusting to your boss' preferences:
Don't be your own worst enemy when it comes to interactions with your boss. Instead of blaming them for your problems, learn their style and adapt.
Source and inspiration: University of Colorado and Harvard University.