The Art Of ‘Managing Up’ In The Corporate Jungle

  • Best Practice
  • By The PR Team
  • Published on 01/03/2024

Ever thought of yourself as the puppeteer, the guiding hand in your professional relationship with your manager? No, this isn’t about usurping power, and you won’t be staging a coup. This, dear reader, is about the delicate art of ‘Managing Up,’ a two-step tango that can turn the tables in your career dance.

Managing up is like understanding your own coffee order; it’s all about knowing preferences and adjusting accordingly. It’s a skill that can make your work-life run smoother than a well-oiled machine, and here’s how:

  1. Know Your Boss: Like an anthropologist studying a new culture, it’s crucial to understand your boss. What’s their management style? What are their pressure points? What are their communication preferences? Do they thrive on detail or prefer the bigger picture? Knowledge, after all, is power.
  2. Adapt Your Style: Now that you have your field notes, it’s time to adapt. If your boss prefers concise emails, don’t send them a novel. If they thrive on detailed reports, don’t provide bullet points. Dance to their rhythm.
  3. Proactive Communication: Be ahead of the curve. Update them on your progress, potential issues, and your solutions. They’ll appreciate not being blindsided and being kept in the loop.
  4. Own Your Work: Take responsibility for your projects. Need help or resources? Ask for them. Encountered a problem? Solve it or propose a solution. Show them you’re a reliable team player.
  5. Positive Feedback and Suggestions: Everybody likes a pat on the back, even your boss. Praise them when it’s due. Got suggestions? Frame them positively. They’ll appreciate your constructive and supportive approach.
  6. Setting Boundaries: Respect their time, and expect the same in return. It’s important to establish a healthy work-life balance, no matter how great your professional relationship is.

So, how do you manage up without coming across as a sycophant or overstepping boundaries? Here are a few tips:

  1. Build Authentic Relationships: Genuine interactions go a long way. Your boss is a human too (surprise, surprise!). Get to know them beyond the professional sphere.
  2. Tactful Honesty: There will be times when you disagree with your boss. Being honest is important, but so is tact. Diplomacy, dear reader, is your best friend here.
  3. Continuous Learning: Managing up is not a one-time strategy; it’s a constant learning process. As you evolve in your role and your manager’s role changes, so should your approach.

So there you have it, the basic guide to mastering the fine art of managing up. It’s like being a skilled chef, you need to know the right ingredients, their exact measurements, and when to stir the pot or let it simmer. Once you have this recipe down, you’re in for a treat. Just remember, this is not about manipulation or brown-nosing. It’s about establishing effective working relationships that promote efficiency, job satisfaction, and a positive work environment. So, go ahead and flip the script, dear reader, because now, you’re not just an employee, but a maestro leading the orchestra that is your career.