We all want to be a part of the best team and have the best manager. But what do we do to help make that happen? How can we as team players set our counterparts and managers up for success?
Managing Up helps us become better problem solvers and team players, but it also helps us understand how to better help our managers! In today’s Thrive, we will explore the role of Managing Up and a few tips on best practices.
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So How Can I Manage Up?
According to Inc, Managing Up means to know your direct manager as a person and understand their goals, communication styles and preferences. Given the amount of time we spend interacting with our manager, it is crucial for us to help set ourselves and them up for success. Managing Up allows us to develop effective working relationships, understand the pressures on our manager and how it ultimately affects us. Being sensitive to the needs of our manager brings about a more human aspect to those higher up in the organizational hierarchy.
Here are a few tips on Managing Up:
Communication is a two-way street between you and your manager. It is the basis for success, if done correctly. Make sure you listen to your manager’s needs and use those to inform decisions. By fostering a space in which you can give and take, you will create buy-in from your manager.
While some managers will provide a set of expectations, others don’t, or at least not in great detail. This means it is your responsibility as the subordinate to understand what your manager’s expectations are, no matter how broad or specific. In doing so, you can assess expectations and follow up with your manager on an as-need basis.
Provide Solutions to Problems
Organizations have a multitude of improvements they’re constantly trying to make. If you identify a difficulty, remember to point out the problem and solution to your manager. This helps enhance your credibility as an employee.
Lend a Helping Hand
Given our workload as employees, a manager’s needs can far exceed ours. This doesn’t mean their needs are more important. It just means you can help them out by creating space for them to concentrate on other matters. By simply volunteering to set up meeting invites or taking notes, you increase visibility and credibility with your manager.
Apply the Five
Now that you’ve got some tips in your toolkit. Let’s take a look at how we can better Manage Up!
Setting Yourself Up for Success
Identify the best ways to communicate with your manager on a project or responsibility you may need help with!
Getting Aligned: Delegating Upwards
By aligning goals, you and your manager can look forward to achieving mutual goals and holding each other accountable!
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?
Meet Vanessa Chapin!
My role at Evans is similar to a Rock-star’s manager – I’d succeed better if they brought electric guitars into work! With four executives (sort of), all of them demonstrating different communication styles, working styles and temperaments, I have to learn all of their styles to figure out how to work best with each person.
I try to understand their goals, make sure they all get where they’re supposed to be, research new contacts, and anticipate their needs. I typically do this by learning what the priorities of the day are, when I can jump in to help and make sure nobody gets blindsided.
Part of my journey at Evans has been demonstrating multi-tasking abilities and encouraging my managers in trusting me to get whatever they need done.
My challenges revolve around learning to be resilient , calm and productive under pressure and coping well with MANY changes. A good assistant is a cog in the wheel, and often in the background. If they notice me, then I’m doing something wrong!
Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley, Mahi Chopra and Nicole Anderson)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)