In order to successfully manage a team of employees, it is important that you also know how to effectively manage the person in charge of you. Managing upwards might sound like a strange concept but, when done right, it can help you and your team to work more effectively towards the business’ objectives and produce a more harmonious working environment.
Understand your boss
The key part of effectively managing upwards to your manager is understanding what they want. If you know what your manager’s main priorities are, then you can make them your priority, too. This can also help your persuasiveness when it comes to proposing a new idea or asking for an extension on a deadline, for example, as you can reframe your request in line with their priorities.
Understanding your boss’ preferred communication method also helps you work together better. Do they want daily, weekly, or monthly progress reports from you? Would they prefer talking face-to-face or should you send them an email? Simply ask your manager these questions so that you can communicate more effectively with them in the future.
Keep them in the loop
Now that you understand what your boss wants to know, when they want to know it, and how they want to hear it, make sure that you follow through. Don’t make your boss come to you asking for a status update; make sure that they already have the information when, or before, they need it. This shows your boss that you can be trusted to effectively manage your team and deliver results without needing to be micro-managed from above.
Doing this effectively will demonstrate your independence and initiative to your manager, which will put you in their good books. This could lead to greater responsibilities and even promotions in your future. But, still don’t be afraid to ask your manager questions or ask for help when you need to.
If managing upwards is a skill that you need to work on, contact me to arrange coaching services to help in this area, or you can call me on +44 (0) 7531 228089.