Members Only | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
NAWMBA Blogs
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   

 

View all (54) posts »
 

Bossing the Boss! – (Managing Up for Better Relationships at All Levels)

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bossing the Boss! – (Managing Up for Better Relationships at All Levels)

by Margaret Johnson


Most of us, no matter what environment we work in, have some type of boss. If you are a supervisor you may tend to focus on the people that work for you and managing the process. If you aren't a supervisor/manager, you might focus on your work and keeping the boss informed. But do you consider the part of your job called managing up? 

It is consciously working with your boss to create the best results for you, your boss and the organization. If we don't manage the boss or if we do manage the boss - we are taking a risk. 

Managing up entails really understanding yourself and your boss as far as strengths, weaknesses, work styles, expectations and needs and developing a healthy relationship that effectively works with this information.

How can you do this? I suggest you start by having a conversation with your boss and discuss their goals, problems, pressures, strengths and weaknesses and needs. It’s never too late to start if you aren’t having them already. Test out your assumptions by observation and asking. Pay attention to clues you get from the boss' behavior on what is right and wrong and make adjustments. And don't just have one conversation - occasionally reconnect to reconfirm. 

Easier said than done? Yes. Depending on your boss, it can be stressful to even think about having a conversation around this. But consider what will happen if you don't and how much better work would be if you had this understanding of your immediate supervisor or others above him or her.

When you are ready, make sure you discuss these things - 

  • clarify expectations

  • identify personality and work styles 

  • how and what information needs to be shared

  • what your strengths are and how can you use each other’s in the best way

Work with it - don't fight it!


Be brave. Take the risk and get to know your boss and their expectations. It will make your work life so much easier.


But wait! What if your boss is less than ideal? 

  • Understand the incompetence and ask others for advice on handling him or her.

  • Focus on how you can fill their gaps.

  • Be very careful about ratting anyone out to higher-ups - consider office politics as you handle the situation

  • Remember to take care of yourself and your health.  Indulge in self-care to reduce stress and focus on what you need. 

  • Try a little empathy, set boundaries and focus on the broader good. 

Need help managing relationships with higher-ups? Join me, Margaret A Johnson, at my Managing Up lunchtime keynote session for assumption busting around managing up and tips to make the best of these relationships. You can register here to join me in Louisville, KY on February 22nd!

Tags:  Business  Career  Kentucky  leadership  Louisville  management  MBA Women  NAWMBA  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)