As team leaders or middle level managers we may often find ourselves needing to influence our own superiors. Today's post builds onto last week's post and discussion around the Emotional Intelligence skill set of influence (Teams365 #498), in the context of influence with your own boss. Whether it is small items like negotiating around team vacation time, or larger items like setting team priorities for the year, managing up is an important skill set.
Four keys for managing up
#1 -Know the priorities of your boss. Consider from their perspective what the top priorities are. Identify how your team priorities overlap. Connect your work and efforts into what their key priorities are,
#2 - Know the preferences of your boss. Just as team members have preferences, your own boss does as well. What does he/she prefer in terms of frequency of communication, level of detail, mode of communication?
#3 – Help them understand your teams needs, areas which they can influence and major priorities for the team at the moment
#4 – Connect what your requests are to the bigger picture of their world - if you know that one of their priorities and areas they are going to be measured on is enhanced sales, create the link in your presentations/requests with that topic.
I have had the privilege of working in environments of high trust where the term managing up was widely used and accepted, and even encouraged. In those environments leadership was secure in their abilities and also aware they they alone could not create exceptional success.
I've also seen the opposite - where the term managing up is used in low trust environments and means something subversive, rather than positive.
How do you view the term "managing up" What does that say about the culture you operate in?
Have a great start to your week,
Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Author of From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching(Jossey-Bass, 2013) and Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
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