Top 10 Tips For Managing Up in a Top Down World
by Roberta Chinsky Matuson,
It may seem unnatural to manage up in the top down world of
business but this is exactly what you must do to be successful in business. Here
are 10 tips for managing those relationships above you.
1. Decode your boss’s management style-I’ve yet to
see a situation where a boss molds his style to that of his employees. You can
be certain you will be the one doing the adjusting. Begin by observing how your
manager uses authority, the way he relates to others, and his communication
style as a leader. Most bosses typically fall into one of the following
categories: Dictatorial, Laissez-faire, Bureaucratic, or Consultative. Once you
determine the type of manager you’ve been handed, you can then study ways to
work most effectively with this type of leader.
2. Prepare to play the game of politics-Politics is
played in every organization; so the sooner you learn how to play this game, the
better off you’ll be. Politics is the informal way that things get done in an
organization. Pay close attention to how work really gets done in the
organization. People who master this game follow unwritten rules that allow them
to maneuver swiftly through the organization to obtain scarce resources,
approval of prized projects and promotions. Can you see now why it’s important
to master this game?
3. Shine the light on others-Compliment staff in
front of others, and whenever possible, shine the light on those around you. The
light from their reflection will make you shine brightly.
4. Presume good intent-It’s easy to jump to
conclusions when you are asked to do something that at first doesn’t feel right.
Presume good intent. Provide your boss with options on how to achieve the same
results in a way that feels right.
5. Master the art of influencing-Influencing is
communicating effectively with a goal in mind. Be specific in your request while
highlighting why it’s in your boss’ best interest to comply with your request,
and you will be on your way to mastering the art of influence.
6.Toot your own horn-For years we’ve been
taught that it’s not polite to brag. But if we don’t, how will others know about
our contributions? When companies put together lay-off lists, they exclude those
whose contributions are well known throughout the organization. You may be the
best singer in the room, but no one will know this if you never open your mouth.
7.Manage your own performance-Bosses are
busy people and most would rather walk on hot coals than write a performance
review. Prepare your own review, which should include ways you’ve added value to
the organization as well as areas needing further development. Present this to
your boss a week prior to your review, and don’t be surprised if what you get
back closely resembles what you’ve submitted.
8. Continually maintain-Like any connection worth
having, you will need to apply care and attention in order for the relationship
to flourish. Continual maintenance is the key to sustaining relationships for
years to come.
9. Hire a mentor or a coach-Every star player uses a
mentor or a coach to help them improve their game. Find someone who is willing
to hold up the mirror for you so that you can clearly see what your boss is
seeing. Then adjust your style accordingly.
10. Attach your star carefully-You never want to be
so closely associated with your boss that you find yourself on the outskirts the
moment she is no longer in favor. Be your own person so others know you are more
than someone’s sidekick.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is
the President of Human Resource Solutions (www.yourhrexperts.com)
and author of the highly acclaimed book,
Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down,
Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Her firm
helps organizations create exceptional workplaces that deliver extraordinary
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