Managing the Manager

“The best leader-managers are those with real potential and are prepared to manage up the organization as well as downwards. If you don’t fancy it, then you’ll create your own glass ceiling … which might be absolutely fine, but might require you to get used to the sight of peers leaving you behind. ” (Delves) Traditional forms of corporate hierarchy are losing their fan base in today’s modern workplace.

Managing up the chain is no longer code word for the workplace’s brownnoser but in fact is a skill performed by focused, well informed, open minded leaders who capitalize on the abundance of ideas and information available throughout the company’s matrix. This paper will explore the benefits and several different approaches employees could apply when managing the manager and how applying collaborative leadership skills are beneficial for everyone involved. Body 1 Section: (What does managing up mean? )

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During most employees careers they experience moments when they would give anything to switch places with their manager. It may be because they disagree with the manager’s managing, but they could also experience moments when they feel the best way to succeed is by following their management blindly. Honestly, both could be right. There could be moments when your ideas or method is better than your managers and others when your manager’s way is the best. So how would you find balance within those two extremes?

It’s easy; you learn to manage your managers, also known as managing up the chain, as well as managing yourself and subordinates. “This is not political maneuvering or kissing up. Rather, it is a deliberate effort to bring understanding and cooperation to a relationship between individuals who often have different perspectives. ” (Thomas J. Zubre) Body 2 Section: (When to manage up? ) In the perfect professional world, everyone would work with a dependable, knowledgeable, accountable, and easy to communicate with manager; this certainly would make workplace more enjoyable.

In the realistic professional world, everyone is not fortunate to have outstanding leadership, but this shouldn’t stop the organization from accomplishing their mission. Learning how to create a healthy, positive relationship with difficult managers may require an act from God; however learning how to work with and overcome a difficult manager’s shortcomings requires a patient, focused, open-minded individual who is focused on what matters most, which is getting the job done.

A manager is the person that is in charge of giving out the responsibility, type of work to be done, and hours to their employees. The best way to get more pleasing work, increased responsibility, and better hours, the employee needs to manage up. Body 3 Section: (How to manage up? ) The first step to dealing with problematic managers is making sure you are not a part of the problem. The managing editor of Harvard Business Review, Dana Rousmaniere said it best, “Managing up doesn’t mean sucking up. It means being the most effective employee you can be, creating value for your boss and your company.

That’s why the best path to a healthy relationship begins and ends with doing your job, and doing it well. ” (Rousmaniere) Being proficient at your job helps build creditably and trust with your manager; however some managers may not automatically notice your hard work; so performing well isn’t enough, you also need to promote your work. Communication and language is a huge factor to managing your manager. By observing and knowing what really matters to your boss, you will learn how to communicate with them and how you should approach them about different situations.

When your boss asks you to complete a project and you have other things on your plate, say yes to the things that are most important to your manager and say no to the less important projects if you have other projects on your plate. This shows your manager that you are able to prioritize the things that are most important and what really matters to them. (Trunk) Knowing your manager’s communication preference to receiving information about day to day activities or progress on a project is another way to manage your manager.

By paying attention to the way your manager conveys information to you, is a way to learn how they like to communicate. You learn if your boss prefers e-mails daily or weekly summaries, and this is the way you should convey information to them as well. This is the best way to be assured that your manager is retaining the information that they are receiving. (Trunk) “If we want someone to understand what we have to say, we must learn to speak their language, rather than expect them to learn ours.

By learning your boss’s “language” you can accomplish what you need, help the boss succeed, and make the project and the organization a success. ” (Knowdell) Be inquisitive and ask valuable questions to make yourself intriguing and obtain new ideas from others that are around you. Find out the vital weaknesses in your department and take responsibility for handling those issues before your boss notices them. This will make your boss appreciative and show them your leadership goals and your ability to take on more responsibility as well as being able to stay on top of your current job duties.

Employees depends on their managers for direction, feedback and support; while managers depend on their employees for new ideas, hard work and cooperation to achieve the organization’s goals. Both sides have needs, and both sides have something to offer. It is a critical relationship worth tending to when managing up. (Kotter) Closing Section: Successfully learning how to manage your manager will empower every worker to break through their professional glass ceiling.

Accepting your manager’s weaknesses and shortcomings as well as your own, is a great starting point to manage your manager. Learning the type of manager that you’re dealing with will help guide you on how to interact and effectively communicate with them. By grasping and perfecting the “managing up” concept, others will recognize your value within the company, and it will give you an advantage when being considered for bigger and better job opportunities. It also gives you an edge over the competition for being considered for promotions and career advancements.