Today I found myself attending a Young Professionals Roundtable event on Zoom. The topic? “Managing up.” We were asked to think about the ways we have been “managing up” and what problems we have encountered.

It got me thinking!

Often, we hear about how to be an effective leader, and how to influence positively, which is all great, but what about how to manage up effectively? defines managing up as “The process of managing your boss so that you and people who work for you can get work done with minimal interference.”

The facilitator shared how she had to learn her former managers style, who happened to micromanage her. After eventually winning her manager over she went on to a higher position within the company.

I quickly started thinking about my working relationship with my supervisor at International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), and I could not be anything but happy. I have a supervisor who allows me to be creative with my work and gives me constructive criticism, which in turn allows me to do the same to him and my colleagues.

So how can one manage up effectively?

  1. Understand your managers style – what is your managers working style? Are they more relaxed or overbearing? Do they love to micromanage or love to collaborate? What is their thinking and communication style?
  2. Be proactive – anticipate problems and your managers needs which in the end will build your confidence and influence
  3. Know your managers goals – what are your managers goals and objectives? Once you know these, you are then able to help him/her accomplish critical tasks
  4. Respect your manager’s time – learning when best to engage with your manager and planning meetings around those times. Having my supervisor’s calendar at arms reach has helped me immensely
  5. Speak up when needed – do not allow problems to fester out of control. For example, speak up if you feel you do not understand a certain task, or have a problem with a certain team member. Your manager will appreciate your forthrightness

How do you manage up effectively?

Thumbnail Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash