14 Tips To Manage Up at Work (And Why It’s Important)

Managing Up – What Does It Mean, And How Do You Do It???

Why is it important to manage up?

It is important to manage up for several reasons. Here are some examples of how working your way up can be advantageous for you, your manager, and your business:

What does it mean to manage up?

Knowing your manager’s habits, strengths, and weaknesses as well as your relationship with them will help you anticipate their needs. It also entails being truthful about one’s professional capabilities or desired career path as well as offering assistance with work-related tasks when necessary.

Tips for managing up effectively

Here are 14 tips to help you manage up effectively:

1. Be aware of your workplaces current priorities

Understanding when to communicate your needs to a manager and when to let others’ needs take precedence depends on being aware of the current priorities at work. For instance, you have some suggestions for improving the organization of the digital filing system. But your division is currently gearing up for a significant product launch. There is a lot of work for the product team members to do, and they frequently need to speak with your manager to make crucial, timely decisions.

You must now finish your own work and write down your suggestion to present it when the office is less busy. By doing this, you give your manager ample time to consider your proposal. It also guarantees that you maintain the workplace’s productivity by acknowledging higher priorities.

2. Be transparent about your goals and professional needs

Make sure your manager is aware of your professional aspirations as an employee. This is a crucial component of managing up because it enables your manager to comprehend your strengths, improvement areas, and long-term career objectives. They can give you different tasks and serve as an appropriate mentor for you based on what you discuss with them.

3. Communicate concisely to promote understanding

You must communicate using clear and succinct messages because managers have a lot of work to complete each day. For instance, ask for their opinions at a convenient time rather than writing a three-paragraph email; instead, state your question, idea, or need up front. This helps your manager comprehend what you’re saying and determines whether they’ll remember to talk to you further about it.

4. Complete in-depth research before presenting an idea

Before presenting an idea to your manager for the department, you must have the supporting data on hand to convince them of its merit. By conducting preliminary research, you can respond to their immediate inquiries and provide them with sufficient details to enable them to decide quickly whether to pursue the idea further.

5. Balance speaking about work tasks and personal life

Maintaining a good, professional relationship with your manager while also building a personal connection with them is crucial to managing up. You must strike a balance between the time you spend talking about work and personal matters in order to accomplish this effectively. For example, after you ask your manager a work-related question, follow up with a question about their weekend or their family.

6. Use questions to help a manager realize the potential benefits of an idea

Ask questions to understand their thinking and assist them in learning more about the idea if your manager is uncertain about one of your suggestions. An illustration of this would be if your manager had reservations about your suggestion to work from home twice a week. You could enquire about your opinions on telecommuting or whether you’d be open to trying an alternative method.

7. Speak with your manager about your personal obligations and availability outside of standard work hours

You may need to notify your manager of specific times after work or on weekends when you won’t be available, depending on their preferences. In addition to helping your manager get to know you better and understand your personal life and communication style, this is crucial for setting your boundaries.

8. Communicate with your manager when you need help

When advancing, speak with your manager about any difficulties or concerns you have regarding your job responsibilities. You must be proactive to obtain the information you need to do your job well because your manager is responsible for several employees.

9. Learn to empathize with your manager

Being able to relate to your manager on a more personal level than just as a boss encourages you to pitch in when they have a lot of work to get done. By considering the possible causes of your manager’s moods or actions and imagining how you would feel in similar situations, you can develop empathy for them.

10. Evaluate their management style

Once you’ve worked for a manager for a while, research management styles to see which one best describes their behavior. Additionally, by doing this, you can learn advice for dealing with a specific type of manager that you can apply to improve your working relationship with them.

11. Assume they dont know your work tasks as well as you do when developing questions or ideas

Managers frequently supervise a variety of different job titles, and they may or may not have prior experience in those positions. Therefore, when you manage up, you must assume that they may not have the same level of understanding regarding your job title. You can make your written or verbal communications with them more clear by using this concept as part of your managing up strategy. To help them comprehend what is required to do your job well, you can also use examples of your regular job responsibilities.

12. Ask your manager to define your job and their expectations

You can manage up when dealing with a new manager by asking them directly about their expectations of you as an employee and discussing with them how they define your job within the broader context of the company. Understanding your managers’ expectations will help you communicate with them and fulfill your job role in a meaningful way.

13. Be honest when they ask for your feedback

Being truthful when a manager requests your opinion regarding their work performance, office environment, or current practices is another crucial component of managing up. It gives them the chance to identify areas that need improvement, and it gives you the chance to share your ideas on how you can assist them in improving one or more workplace areas.

14. Take advantage of one-on-ones

You can converse with your manager for a long time in one-on-one meetings. These typically take the form of performance reviews, but they also give staff members the chance to inquire about their job responsibilities, potential future advancement opportunities, and current workplace changes. Additionally, it gives staff members the chance to talk to their manager about any ideas they have.


How do you effectively manage up?

Here’s what you can do to take charge and start managing up.
  1. Embrace the Mission. …
  2. Develop a Positive Relationship. …
  3. Understand His or Her Goals. …
  4. Anticipate His or Her Needs. …
  5. Never Let Him or Her Get Blindsided. …
  6. Do Your Job Well. …
  7. Tell Him or Her How to Best Use Your Talents.
  8. Honor Your Boss’ Time.

What is meant by managing up?

In order to manage up, you must: Manage your relationship with your boss. Developing and cultivating a productive working rapport with your boss. Learning your boss’s management, leadership and communication styles and preferences.

How do you challenge upwards?

How to Influence Upwards – Work with Facts
  1. Questioning is the ability to probe the other person with fact-finding, non-judgmental questions in order to learn more about them.
  2. Making proposals and suggestions that are supported by two or three compelling arguments for what you want is known as suggesting.

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