The vast majority of people have managers and your relationship with your manager has a huge impact on both your job and your larger life. Our topic here is how to make that relationship as smooth as possible. We’ll go through both how to understand what your manager expects and how to best provide it.
There are some standard behaviors that are helpful with most managers. They are not surprising and in most situations these same skills matter when working with someone else. Managing up is a special case of successful, pleasant interaction with any other person. These behaviors include being on time, being respectful, listening, communicating clearly, and doing quality work.
Managers have special concerns. The first thing to understand is that your manager, like all of us, is concerned about himself first. Yes, in some ideal world, managers would be different from the rest of us, and would always think of others first. But human nature is such that our own needs creep into everything we do. So, the first lens to apply when working with your manager is “what is important to him?” What worries him? What makes him feel good?
The second thing is that all humans have styles. You can learn more about these styles through personality tests, like Strengthsfinder or DiSC. But the point is, your manager has some things that are easy, natural, and comfortable for him and some things that are hard, unnatural, and uncomfortable. You want to understand these styles.
Once you understand your manager, managing up becomes easier. You first do your job well. Then, you tailor your interactions to your manager to meet his needs and in a style that is easy for him to digest.
To learn more about this, bring your tough situations and questions to our live Twitch discussion on Monday, February 3, 2020, at 6 PM PST.