Believe it or not, managing up is on the team member as opposed to the manager. How you communicate, empathize, and perform will make your relationship with your boss seamlessly. Essentially, managing up is about understanding the work that leadership goes through and taking on those tasks so you can exceed their expectations.
Managing up not only makes your manager's life easier but yours too. You spend majority of your day communicating and collaborating with your team and leadership, so it's important to develop effective communication, genuine rapport, and a growth mindset to reach those moonshot goals.
Best practices when managing up
So, how does one manage up? Well, part of managing up is embodying the unique qualities that make leaders in your workspace inspiring. Remember, you're trying to suck up to your manager or your team members. You're demonstrating ways to be helpful and handy.
Communicate your needs. Hands down the most important skill to develop is communication. Whether it's during one-on-one meetings or over Slack, find a communication channel that works best for you and your manager. Not to mention, frequently asking questions is a great method of keeping communication open and honing your active listening skills. If you have aspirations of taking on a leadership role in the workplace, start with communication.
Propose solutions not problems. With any obstacle or roadblock, try finding your own solutions. Or when finding any problems, it's best to bring them to your manager or team along with two to three solutions. Suggesting your own approaches and methods when confronting problems will only make you feel empowered in your decision-making skills.
Asking for feedback. Cultivating a culture of feedback is what fuels growth. To be specific, a growth mindset. Just like how your manager may give you feedback, be proactive and ask for ways to improvement. Not only does this show your eagerness to learn, but it displays your passion to create a healthy environment to communicate and bring people together. And don't forget, feedback is a two-way street. Be sure to give your leaders and peers constructive and actionable feedback to help them grow professionally.
Empathize with one another. It goes without saying but managing up means being kind and truly understanding those around. It means personally investing in the successes, failures, and interests. Not to mention, offering support or guidance to your manager. While your titles may differ, it's vital to share a pool of knowledge and support with each other.
The benefits of managing up
Whether you're starting a new job or just wanting to rebuild your relationship with your manager, it's important to step out on the right foot. With these tools under your belt, here are the benefits that will establish those fulfilling professional relationships you're looking in the workplace.
Allies in the workplace. At some point in your career you're going to need your team's buy-in on a new project, task, or process and that's where building healthy and trusting relationships is important. Especially with your manager. Get your peers and leaders to advocate for you will help your ideas become visible and show your value to the company.
Richer relationships. We already mentioned this, but anticipating the needs of your manager and team will only fostering trusting connections. Think about it as a mentor-mentee relationship. It's these positive interactions that will make collaborating more fruitful, projects more exciting, and culture more engaging.
Makes your job easier. If you're willing to take things off your manager's plate, it saves everyone time and builds trust. And when your manager feels comfortable assigning you projects with little assistance and a lot of trust, it will make you feel empowered to conquer your work with confidence.
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