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The Delicate Art of Managing Up: How to Work Harmoniously With Almost Any Boss

Make It Easy For The Boss

Keeping emails concise and taking the bosses written approvals in a simple Yes or No can be helpful. Make sure the text is to-the-point, with suggested solutions, so that the boss can answer quickly.

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The Delicate Art of Managing Up: How to Work Harmoniously With Almost Any Boss

The Delicate Art of Managing Up: How to Work Harmoniously With Almost Any Boss

https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/08/managing-up-is-an-art-and-if-you-learn-it-you-can-work-harmoniously-with-any-boss.html

slate.com

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Key Ideas

Managing Your Boss

Managing one’s boss can be a challenge, and most people have problems and frustrations with their superiors.

Working optimally with your boss means trying to produce the best possible results in an organization, keeping your stress levels low and increasing your happiness. It helps to have clarity about your options, keeping your sanity and focusing on what you can control.

Talk About Priorities

Try connecting with your manager on a regular basis, clearing the work goals and priorities of the coming weeks or months.

Ensure that this line of communication is open so that there is clarity on both sides.

Regular Touchpoints

Just like setting priorities, there has to be a regular touchpoint system established, for checking in and getting queries solved.

Maintaining regularity of the meeting is imperative, though there are bound to be cancellations due to other priorities of your boss. It helps to take this into account and pushing for the meeting nonetheless.

Make It Easy For The Boss

Keeping emails concise and taking the bosses written approvals in a simple Yes or No can be helpful. Make sure the text is to-the-point, with suggested solutions, so that the boss can answer quickly.

Ask For Feedback

Timely feedback of your work is to be provided by the boss on a regular basis, rather than springing a surprise in the performance review. Asking proactively for feedback will correct the problems (if any) when it is not too late.

Boss Management

  • Don’t Take Things Personally: It helps to have a ‘thick skin’ and keep your ego out of your boss’s ultimate decision which may not be your preference.
  • Your Boss Is Human Too: Your boss can also feel frustrated, flustered or in need of a good word. Being human also brings in envy or insecurity in a person, so you have to consider that while dealing with your boss.
  • Avoid Ambiguity: Keeping things written down, and clear helps avoid misunderstandings, miscommunications and ambiguity. Being organized and easy to work with can help you deal with your boss efficiently.

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Be realistic about the risks

Our natural bias is to start by imagining all the things that will go horribly wrong if we disagree with someone more powerful. Yes, your counterpart might be a little upset at first, but most like...

Decide whether to wait

You may decide to hold off voicing your opinion if you want to gather your army first. People can contribute experience or information to your thinking — all the things that would make the disagreement stronger or more valid. 

Also, delay the conversation if you’re in a meeting or other public space. Discussing the issue in private will make the powerful person feel less threatened.

Identify a shared goal

Before you share your thoughts, think about what the powerful person cares about. You’re more likely to be heard if you can connect your disagreement to a “higher purpose.” 

State it overtly then, contextualizing your statements so that you’re seen not as a disagreeable underling but as a colleague who’s trying to advance a shared goal. 

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Must-have questions for 1:1 meetings
  1. How’s life? - Helps with building trust.
  2. What are you worried about right now?  
  3. What rumors are you hearing that you think I should know about? ...
Be calm
Someone who is calm is seen as being in control, centered and more respectable. 

Unless you know that anger will trigger the person into action and you are consciously using it as a stra...

Understand the person's intentions

Even when it may seem that the person is just out to get you, there is always some underlying reason that is motivating them to act this way. 

Try to identify the person's trigger: What is making him/her act in this manner? What is stopping him/her from cooperating with you? How can you help to meet his/her needs and resolve the situation?

Get some perspective from others

In all likelihood, your colleagues, managers and friends must have experienced similar situations in some way or another. They will be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation. 

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