Managing Up

 

Managing Your Boss

Many people do not take seriously the need to “manage up”;or at least they do not believe they can have any significant influence over their relationship with their boss which is tottally untrue. Certainly, personality plays a major role in establishing the dynamic between subordinate and manager. But effort put forward to enhance that rapport can be very effective. In this regard, at least, you make your own luck. but this relationship is too important for you to rely on circumstance or good fortune.

 

The following tips will help you establish positive working relationship with your manager:

 

Establish Clear goals:
Both you and your manager must agree specifically on the goals expected of you and how it fits in or cascaded down from the larger organizational perspective. This may sound simple for quantitative measurable objectives such as sales targets and financial objectives may be tangible but there are intangible goals as well such as maintaining good relations with key executives, or key departments. Make sure you ask directly "what more do you want me to accomplish?"

 

Keep him/her Informed
Let your manager know what you are doing. keep him/her informed of your progress, establish a ritual for example a weekly email to give him a quick view of what's going on or a biweekly face-to-face meeting.

 

Find out his/her preferred communication style and use it
Each one has their own favorite way to communicate with others, keep in mind what's your  manager's preference is it emails, telephone,  face to face. Always remember to tailor your communication to his/her preference. 

 

Help your Manager in looking good
Determine your manager's KPI's (Key performance Indicators) or the criteria used to evaluate his/her effectiveness. and try to help by finding ways to contribute to his/her success. 

 

Ask for feedback
Don't wait for the annual appraisal and ask for informal friendly feedback simply ask your manager if you performance is satisfactory and if he/she has any recommendations for you to improve your performance. doing so will give your manager a feeling that you are genuinely conscientious, have self drive and want to improve.

 

Always tell the truth
Needless to say this is a major one, you should always let your manager know what the true situation is no matter how bad the news is, you have to bring it to his/her knowledge. Openness and candor about the business are extremely important.

 

Don't just come with a problem bring a solution too
If you have to bring bad news or a problem, try as much as possible to have a proposed solution or two. No one wants to be labeled as incapable of dealing with issues so your solution may not be the best way to solve it but at least bring in the best analysis possible to the discussion.

 

Don't point fingers
Be professional, take ownership of problems and never point fingers saying it was their fault. Avoid criticizing others or ill speaking of your colleagues. If your manager asks your opinion of a colleague , be diplomatic.

 

Be optimistic
Keep an upbeat optimistic attitude, it will help project a positive impression of you, take advantage of your positive attitude if you are naturally an optimistic person.

Maintain your perspective. Situations are rarely as bad, or as good, as they appear. If you are in a difficult relationship with your manager, consider the lessons you are learning from the experience. Continue to build your internal network and avoid speaking derogatorily of your manager in public. If you are in a very positive working relationship with your boss, enjoy the benefits but do not begin to feel invincible. And be mindful of the potential complications from jealous peers who may regard you as the “boss's favorite.”

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