Knowing how to manage up to your boss can take a lot of skill. It can even stress some leaders out. But it doesn’t have to.
If you’re walking into your one on one with a guilty conscience wondering if your boss knows something that you didn’t tell them, then you’re not doing a great job of managing up. Good, bad, or indifferent, you need to be upfront and with your boss at all times.
If you want to have a good relationship with your superior, then you need to learn to manage up in a way that will keep you guilt-free. Make sure to follow this guide so you get it right.
If HR Needs To Know, Then Your Boss Does Too
The last thing you want is your HR business partner updating your boss on what’s happening with your team or division before you do. This allows you to control the narrative and fill them in on all the details before HR gets involved.
Leaving it up to HR can end badly. Remember, you’re the expert in your field and should be able to explain what is happening in a clear and concise manner. HR may not be able to explain it as elegantly as you. They will explain it in a way that makes sense to them, which isn’t always the right way.
Keep Email Updates Short And Sweet
If you send updates to your manager via email, then try to keep them short and sweet. Use bullet points and treat them like tweets in that you should use five words instead of ten. This way, your boss can use these as sound bytes on your behalf and become your biggest promoter to their peers.
Your manager doesn’t have time to read essays or long thought-out think pieces. All you’ll find is that your boss will call you directly to get the short version of everything you wrote.
Understand What Success Looks Like To Them
If you know what success looks like to your manager, then you can use this as direction to what they want to know. For some, it’s all about sales performance, which can be tough when you’re in a customer service position.
However, there are ways that you can support their goals. Listen carefully to what they spend most of their time talking about. When they discuss problems or issues, look for ways that your team can help. Not only will this show that you’re listening, but it will also demonstrate you’re part of the team and doing your bit for the business.
Use Their Jargon
The only way you’ll nail this one is by listening. Understand the jargon that your boss uses, and when you manage up, try to speak in the same language that they’re using. It will help demonstrate you’re on the same page and reduces any risk of miscommunication.
You can also use this language to develop your direct reports. Teach them to provide updates on your behalf or when you’re not around. Your manager will take notice of this and will recognise your efforts.
Tips on How to Manage Up
Managing up is an essential skill all leaders need to learn. It should form part of your communication skills and something you should also pass on to your direct reports. The more you’re all talking about what is going on in the business, the better it will be for everybody.
If you need more leadership tips, then you should follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find advice and guidance on a range of topics that will help your relationship with your manager. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.