By Linda Le Phan – theLadders
If you’re a working adult (of any age!), you’re probably used to managing your own schedule, priorities, and workload. But have you ever thought about the need to manage your boss/manager? Because believe it or not, it’s a real thing and it’s referred to in business management as managing up.
I know what you might be thinking … isn’t it my boss’ job to manage me? Why do I, then, have to think at all about managing them?
Well, to put it simply, it’s because if you don’t at least try, you’re setting yourself up to fail slowly over time. Your boss is this other human being who is arguably one of the most important relationships you’ll ever have at work – so the way you “manage” that relationship can drive your career and personal development forward fast OR lead to your demise.
The best way to go about managing your boss is by taking ownership over your end of working relationship, specifically when it comes down to communication, expectations, and problem-solving. Here are some tips on how to go about doing that:
Be clear about your career goals
A good manager strives to advance his or her employees into roles that are well-suited for their personalities, skill sets, and career goals. The more your manager knows about where you see yourself in five or ten years, or even in the next 6 months, the easier it is for them to empower you to achieve those goals and set you on the right path within the organization.
When problems arise, think about solutions
A common mistake people make when interacting with their boss or manager is bringing up complaints and problems without any thought about how to solve them. Worse yet is giving your manager the impression that you expect them to fix everything for you. The better way to approach problems is to still bring them up to your manager, but when you do, also come prepared with ideas on how to solve them. This accomplished a few things: 1) it demonstrates your own willingness and ability to solve tough problems 2) it increases your manager’s chances of successfully helping you resolve the issue, and 3) it builds trust and rapport between the two of you and decreases the likelihood of angst and frustration at the outcome.