10 Tips to Manage UP!

BY: Donna L. Buehler, Stony Brook University Ombuds

What is Managing UP?

“Is about learning how to work within the confines of an organization to get what you need, while helping your boss and the organization meet their objectives.  It’s about using influence and acting with integrity and purpose.”

From Suddenly in Charge by Roberta Chinsky Matuson

“Is simply a conscious approach to working with your supervisor toward goals you both care about.”

“The aim is to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship.”

From Managing Up, 20 Minute Manager Series, Harvard Review Press
Photo by Tim Gouw

10 Tips to to Manage UP!

  1. Bring your best self to your work and/or study every day.  Maintain a positive attitude regardless of the environment.
  2. Listen more, talk less, by paying attention to nonverbal behavior (gestures, tone, facial expressions, posture, etc.).
  3. Be a problem-solver, not a complainer and offer possible solutions to problems.
  4. Give a heads-up on important issues.  
  5. Mutually establish clear goals/objectives, deadlines and follow-up regularly.
  6. Identify your needs in terms of resources, training, etc.
  7. Take initiative by providing updates as necessary.  There should be NO surprises.
  8. Take responsibility for your work, your behavior and the outcome of your actions.
  9. Observe when it’s best to address a difficult issue with the other person – timing is everything!  Find common ground.
  10. Understand the other person’s:
    1. Preferred style of communication
    2. Style of handling conflict
    3. Expectations of your work and behavior
    4. Pressures & deadlines
    5. Strengths & weaknesses

Interested in learning how to Manage UP? Check out one of the workshops hosted by Stony Brook University’s Ombudsman Office! Click HERE to learn more!


Author: sbugwise

We are the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering group at Stony Brook University and we are dedicated to supporting women in STEM fields.

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