The Art and Importance of Managing Up
“Want to be put on the fast track for a promotion? Or become one of the top performers on your team? Well then there’s one skill that you need to perfect that has absolutely nothing to do with how good you are at your day-to-day job. It’s a little skill called managing up.
Now, managing up doesn’t mean that you’re trying to jump over your boss or step on anyone’s toes. But it means that you’re managing your manager. You’re putting them in a position where they can help you do your job better (which in turn, will help them).
Here’s how it works.
You probably have a weekly 1:1 with your boss. Or maybe every now and then you have a skip-level (meeting with your bosses boss). How does that meeting typically go? If that 30 minute meeting isn’t packed with notes, ideas and a longer to-do list than you had before the meeting started, then you’re doing it wrong. … One of the things no one ever tells you early on in your career is that you actually need to drive that meeting. …
It’s on you to set the agenda for this meeting. You don’t need to have a formal agenda in advance, but I like to at least keep a notebook of talking points. … Here’s why keeping that list is so important.
How many times have one of these two things happened at work:
- Your boss forwards you an email and asks you to look into something and you have no idea what they want.
- You’re working on something but you feel lost, aren’t sure if you’re making the right decision, or even just stuck starting a blank screen for something you were supposed to write.
… Look into it, do your research, and make it a point for discussion at your next 1:1. … Write down your thoughts/questions/potential options that factor into the decision, and make it a point for discussion at your next 1:1. … this is a great time to talk about results and hammer home the things you’ve accomplished lately. …
Treat your 1:1 with your boss as the most important meeting you’re going to have that week. … Managing up will not only help you run better meetings, but it will help you remove roadblocks, do your job even better, and put you on the path for that next big step in your career.”