Managing Up (VIDEO)


Sometimes, the biggest challenge to success is your boss. You need to master the skill of managing up.

Managing Your Boss


This video is talking about the importance of “managing up.” 

When you think about it, your boss has expectations and, at the same time, you have expectations, too.  Sometimes, there is a disconnect between the 2 of you and your expectations.  Sometimes, your boss is your problem.  That’s a legitimate thing. I’m not talking about whining, complaining or criticizing.  Let me use an example from a session I did recently.

The guys a very successful individual.  His boss is energetically different.  They are much more methodical type than the person I am coaching.  The result is that things aren’t getting done.  It shows up in a variety of different ways that aren’t important to go into. But, in the effort to “manage,” what is happening is the firm is losing staff, the environment everyone is working in has become “complicated,” there is friction in the office and a lot more.

Managing up involves working with your boss to get a handle on some of their challenges… It is a coaching exercise.  If you think you can have one conversation and resolve all issues, man!  It doesn’t work that way, does it?

If anything, you need to be somewhat consistent over the course of time in order to ask great questions to bring them to a place where they are able to see things through your eyes, share with their experiences that may be different than yours.  In this way, there is greater understanding.  Ultimately, what is going on is that the 2 of you, even though there is a power differential (they are your boss and you are not), because you are having a human conversation with them, the playing field starts to level out.  Even though they may trump you by pulling rank, they are telling you something as well.  The idea is to go in without any judgment or preconceived notion, and, in the course of chatting about one thing, you might talk about this other thing.

I was wondering… I noticed that…“And you start the conversation along those lines.

I’m curious.  Have you ever considered such and such? If so, what were your thoughts? “

You might talk about your experience of what is going on. You leave it as a flat conversation with no expectation that there is going to be a successful conclusion.

Coming back on another occasion, not an hour later, but having given them time to think about it, you let it rumble in their subconscious. You introduced the subject again in a later conversation a week, a month, 2 weeks later… Whenever and see what their thoughts are. 

You go a little bit deeper with your opinion.

Managing up is a relationship issue. They are using power differentials to get things done, driving things and pushing things that is creating friction and that isn’t really what they want.

In doing this over time, you are becoming a trusted advisor for this person, someone that they can rely upon. They can open themselves up to you in different sorts of ways than they might have, up until this point.



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been coaching people to play their professional and personal games BIG for what seems like 100 years.

For more No BS Coaching Advice & encouragement, visit my website.

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