Managing up is a relatively recent term that has come into popularity. Basically what it means is going the extra mile to make your supervisor’s life easier. It’s not brown-nosing, but rather a way of making your manager and your department be able to achieve more. For example, your boss may not explicitly tell you how to jump in and fix a problem, but you are able to do so and help keep a client happy.
Here are some tips on how you can manage up, make your boss – and yourself – look good, and hopefully move up the corporate ladder:
Pay attention to your manager’s communication styles
If your supervisor is somebody who likes to tell you things via email, and get responses that way, you will irritate him or her by constant phone calls, even if you prefer to talk things out over the phone. In such a case, if you need more information on a task, why not write out your questions/concerns in an email to your manager instead of pestering the boss in person, or by the phone? Whatever way it is that your boss likes to communicate, you will need to adjust, and not the other way around.
The last thing your boss ever wants to hear is that something is not your department. Instead, you should be able to go with the flow, and be able to handle a variety of issues when they come up. Being able to show flexibility is an asset.
Think like your manager
Put yourself in your boss’ shoes, and try to think about what you can do to make their life easier. Look at things through your manager’s eyes, and not through your own. This can potentially help you determine what will work best when it comes to ways to improve the office workflow.
Network in the office
What relationships you forge at work, especially with different departments, won’t just help you. They can help your boss. If you are able to make connections that can help you and your work, it can also pay off for your supervisor.
Be interested in improving things
If you show curiosity and genuine interest in making things better in the workplace, it can pay off in a big way for your boss. For example, if you come up with a way to save money, it can make you look good, and your supervisor look good as well.
Lisa Swan writes for a variety of coaching sites, including MeredithHaberfeld.com.