5 Tips for Managing Up

One of the quickest ways to ensure a miserable office life is having a poor relationship with your manager or supervisor. Whether you have trouble communicating or your manager just isn't cut out for managing people, the relationship you have with your boss can determine the course of your career. So, what can you do to make it better?

Managing up is a fancy business term that pretty much just means meeting your boss on his or her level. It is all about strategy and, when done well, can make you and your boss happier and help get you on the fast track to move up within your company. The fine folks at Lifehacker read Working with You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elste. Using the principals in the book, they put together tips for those who want to learn how to manage up effectively. We think their advice is worth heeding.

  1. Train your boss to meet with you regularly. The foundation of any good relationship is communication. Your relationship with your boss is no different. A weekly check-in, even of just 15 minutes, keeps you visible and allows you and your boss the time you need to ensure you are communicating effectively.
  2. Come to every meeting with a detailed agenda. You know what you are working on better than anyone else in your office. Prioritize your list of projects by importance and use your weekly check-in to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks. 
  3. Know your boss's priorities. If you feel as though your plate is filling up, ask your boss to help you prioritize your projects. Once you know what is most important to your manager, you will be able to work more quickly and effectively, delivering exactly what your boss needs in a timely manner. This is also a good time to get your boss on your side if you have to turn down something that is a smaller priority. 
  4. Anticipate problems and offer solutions. Don't just complain that something is broken or a customer is unhappy. If you have to bring an issue to your boss, be sure you brainstorm possible solutions. Doing so will help you be viewed as a problem solver, instead of a problem creator. 
  5. Know the status of every project at all times. You are your own best cheerleader. By being able to give a status report of every project at all times, you are showing your boss that you are on top of your game and reliable. 

Following these tips could improve your life at the office remarkably. Who knows what could happen next?

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