Managing up is one of the most important skills you will ever learn.
The ability to manage up – manage your supervisor and manager is an invaluable skill that will serve you well throughout your career. Learn it quickly and master it.
What does managing up entail?
Learning the work styles and communication preferences of those you work with and report to. And it’s the very first thing you should set out to learn.
Learn quickly what is important to your immediate supervisor. If you are responsible for taking messages or keeping track of appointments, make sure to pay attention to details and deliver information and changes immediately and accurately.
No matter what role you play in an organization, you are there to be of service. Reminding your supervisor and your team of critical dates for deliverables that are approaching is one of the most important ways you can be of service.
If you are working on a project and are in need of information or approvals, it is your responsibility to make sure you get what you need to complete your work accurately and on time. Very often people will use the excuse that their manager didn’t get back to them, or didn’t provide some critical piece of information.
It is quite okay to ask or remind team members of what you need, whether it is your manager or a peer. You don’t have to be a pest about it, but gentle reminders are always appreciated. People get busy and for any number of reasons, it may not be top of mind for them. Your job is to put it back at the top of the list.
The flip side is if you don’t take the initiative with making sure the assignment is completed on time, neither you nor your boss will look good. By reminding him or her, you both look good and it will instill confidence in your manager that you are diligent and reliable.