In episode 102, I introduced the idea of managing up and discussed one leg of it–managing expectations and delegation. Here in this episode, we’ll cover the next two legs of managing up for a more productive organizational culture–managing collaborative time wisely and managing your manager.
Managing Collaborative Time Wisely
From quick assignment of tasks, working on a project together, or scheduling meetings, your time spent and interactions with your manager are really important. They give you access to insights about the company or organization, they help you demonstrate your worth, and they establish you as valued resource to your manager, and the more time spent with your manager the closer the bond (read, job security and leverage come performance review time).
Work with your manager on how he can assign tasks with you either during weekly meetings, ad hoc situations, and any other regular touch-points so that it’s as seamless for you and him or her.
Learn how your manager works with others. Work with your team to create standard operating procedures for working with each other when your manager is involved.
Managing Your Manager
Some managers are just plain disorganized and unproductive with their time and resources. They know, they’re ashamed of it, and everyone around them knows it. This is where a frank conversation with your manager can go a long way, if they’re open to the conversation (and maybe even more so if they’re not, since that usually means they need your help even more!).
Ask them how you can support them in making sure that they are getting to meetings on time, maintaining their projects and to-do lists on a daily basis, and working with them to build the productivity skills to make both of your lives easier. You might even suggest they hire a productivity coach to help facilitate their performance management.
Managing up for a more productive organizational culture is not easy, but the challenge is worth it for less stress, greater motivation, higher profitability, and better working relationships.