What is “Managing Up?”
Managing up might be a phrase that you have heard a lot about recently, but what does it mean? Top-down management is something that you have heard for a long time as a leader, so this is something that you understand. Managing up is a buzzword used today for a different approach, the employees managing up. The goal here is to help you better understand the concept of managing up and how this is important for your business.
Managing up is essentially the career development approach where the employee works in a manner that is mutually beneficial to them and their boss, but it isn’t about trying to manipulate the manager or fixing the things that you don’t like about your boss. This concept is about showing that you are an excellent employee that understands what your boss’ position requires and exceeding their needs and expectations. When done effectively, you are creating value for the boss and the organization. You will also find that you are more fulfilled in your job as well when you take this approach. Managing up can be an excellent thing for your career, especially when done correctly. You will be in a better position to grow and advance your career when you learn how to manage up.
To effectively achieve the concept of “managing up,” there are a few things that you need to do. The first and most crucial step of this is to understand your boss better. You need to be able to communicate effectively with your boss as well as better understand their expectations for you. Take note of their style of management, such as whether they communicate through emails or prefer face-to-face. You can even ask questions that will help you learn about their current goals or other details about their vision for the company, as it shows the boss that you are ambitious while also teaching them that you want their perspective.
Once you get a feel for who your boss is and their expectations, you can learn how to anticipate their needs and dive right in, for instance, if they don’t particularly enjoy editing their newsletters or press releases, offer to look at it for them. Take on a task that you know they don’t enjoy, freeing them up to handle another job. They may not always take you up on your offer, but they will notice your willingness to step up whenever they need you.
There are some things that you need to avoid. As previously mentioned, this isn’t about manipulating your boss and taking their job from them. It’s about being a more productive employee and eventually advancing your career. You don’t want to get caught up in company politics or come off as disingenuous. If you learn practical managing up skills, you will be the boss someday, and you will have acquired the essential skills that you need to succeed in the future. Until then, this is the time where you can show your boss just how valuable are to the organization.