We all deal with managers in the workplace, every day. Some managers, you may have noticed, tend to be a bit easier to handle than others. They may hover less, expect less, trust more, have people skills, and faith that regardless of minor loopholes, you will ultimately get the job done.
Then, there’s that other type of manager: The one that no matter what you think you’ve done right, still manages to find something wrong; the one that seemingly yells for the sole purpose of testing their vocal range; the ones that can find a negative in any positive and can’t seem to muster a compliment to save their lives—these exist too.
The trick to your sanity at work is to learn to manage them all. Here’s how:
- Make your boss look good. This is, perhaps, the most essential factor in managing up. Most often, when your manager is coming down on you, it’s because someone is coming down on them. It’s a trickle effect. If your manager is praised, the likelihood increases that you will be also be praised. Do everything you can to bring your A game, so that it plays into their overall game plan, and you’ll likely work in bliss.
- Exceed expectations. There is great benefit in going beyond the call of duty. If your boss asks for an inch, provide them with a yard. Let it be on them to ask you to scale back but never allow them the space to ask for more.
- Anticipate needs. Try not to wait until you’re asked to do something before doing it. If you have the foresight to know what may be coming down the pipeline in the near or distant future, try to jump on top of that task now or at least get a small head start. Your boss will be impressed when the time comes and you’re already steps ahead.
- Set expectations. Your boss may not like if you are unable to do something when they’d like it done, but they will respect you for being upfront. Saying you can do something when you really can’t is much more detrimental than being honest. It’ll be appreciated in the long run.
- Be solutions-oriented even when it’s not your problem. Issues arise in business—it’s inevitable. Your job is to offer suggestions on reconciling issues when faced with them. If your boss can rely on you as an avid problem-solver, you can rest assured they will keep you close and prefer you happy.
Have your own tricks for managing up? Let us in on them.