Realistically, managing up is utilizing the qualities of a competent manager to help bring out the best in you as an employee. When done successfully, managing up makes both your daily job and that of your manager easier…”
Have you ever spent a week or more without being assigned tasks to do in your new job or internship? How has it made you feel? I bet you got bored and maybe even frustrated. I believe I am not very wrong if I assume you didn’t talk to your manager to ask for things to work on. If you did, then you must be good at managing up. Managing up is a good character to have for someone who is still developing, career-wise. “Managing up” sounds new? Well, it means taking things into your hands like tasks in your job that you would normally wait for your manager to assign to you and more. Realistically, managing up is utilizing the qualities of a competent manager to help bring out the best in you as an employee. When done successfully, managing up makes both your daily job and that of your manager easier. It is not only limited to proactively getting tasks done, but it also includes other important demonstrations of leadership like proposing solutions, adjusting your style to your managers, helping your team members, and more.
How can you Manage up?
- Be proactive: Have a sense of responsibility in your job and give it your best. This will help you to notice problems and think of solutions to solve them. Once you do, don’t wait for later, share it with your manager. If it’s okay to act before talking to your manager go ahead and solve the problem and share the experience with the team to allow everyone on the team to learn from the experience. An attitude like this is priceless to have on the team, it helps your manager to move things through you and helps you to grow in the process.
- Think out of the box: If the project you were working on is over and you are waiting for the next thing to work on, don’t just sit down and wait. Take initiatives! You can either choose to introduce something new to your team or do more research on matters related to your job or even get side training to gain more knowledge and skills in your field, but don’t just sit there waiting for your manager to spoon-feed you. As you do all that, inform your manager so that they give you feedback and maybe point you to more.
- Be a team player: There sure are more ways through which you can manage up and I don’t believe I’d be able to list them all but as I talk about the ones that resonate with me the most, I wouldn’t leave behind TEAM PLAYING. Working and respecting your colleagues is very important as you take ownership of your work grow and manage up, you should always pay genuine attention to your team members’ struggles so that you help them when you can and even ask them for help when you have blockers instead of always waiting for a check-in meeting with your manager to tell them that things are not working when someone on the team might have been able to help.
- Adjusting to your manager’s style: starting we saw how managing up is about facilitating your manager’s job, so it is important that you embrace your manager’s way of doing things. You might be used to other ways of doing things compared to how your team and manager do things. If your ways are better, it is always best that you share with the team your ways and if after you do that they still want to do it their own way don’t resist! Adapt so that you can contribute more to the team. Resistance will only complicate your work and your manager’s. If they accept and embrace your way of doing things, then that’s a win and a chance to add value to your team.
Why is managing up important?
All the ways to manage up…But why should you care? It is all for your own good. Whatever goal you have as you start your new job, managing up will help you to reach there. Your goal can be professional growth, where you see yourself becoming a manager too or having an impact wherever you are, managing up is the sure deal. Two undeniable outcomes that you’ll gain from managing up are professional growth and leadership.
- Profession growth: If you noticed all the ways of managing up shared, lead you to become good at what you do. If you follow the “think out of the box” tip and choose to learn and do things that are beyond your work assignment you’ll end up knowing more, contributing more, and producing more in your career and job.
- Building your leadership: another important thing is that as build that powerful attitude in your job, you’ll grow into a great leader and your superiors will notice how valuable you are to the team and then raise you. Even if they don’t, leadership is a lifestyle, you’re surely going to get more opportunities to improve things wherever else you’re going to be.