Of all of your professional relationships, the one you have with your manager may be the most important. However, solidifying a positive relationship can often be hard when managers are overextended, overwhelmed, or inexperienced.
Good or bad, your manager has a lot of influence on your career trajectory, and can also make your day-to-day life a lot easier. Managing up can put you in the driver’s seat for your career, so we’ve put together three quick tips to help you create a relationship that turns your manager into your advocate and ensures your best work is recognized.
1) Understand Your Manager
First and foremost, you must understand what drives your manager. What are they trying to accomplish at this organization? How are they being judged, and what are their goals? It’s important to understand your boss’ position and requirements and how your goals align. This will empower you to talk about how what you're doing supports your manager’s goals.
It’s also essential that you understand their communication style. Ask them how and when they’d like to receive updates. One manager might prefer daily updates with raw data, while another might prefer weekly or monthly updates with more analysis and commentary. Some managers like to chat a bit before jumping into business, and others just want to get to the point at hand. If your manager is a visual learner, it will help to bring charts or slides to make your point.
Pathlight will always prepare you for conversations with your manager because you both have realtime access to performance data. Employees, managers, and leadership are all aligned on performance goals and current results. This saves everyone time because managers can check KPIs whenever they want, and no one wastes time pulling data from multiple systems to know where they stand.
Ultimately, you want to make yourself known as a stellar employee by exceeding your manager’s expectations and needs. Understanding their communication style and their goals will help you do this.
2) Proactively Communicate and Plan for 1:1s
You never want your manager to be caught off-guard or to hear updates that should have come from their own team. Good news or bad, it’s important that you inform your manager on a timely basis. This can be challenging, especially in a hybrid/remote environment, so it’s vital that you proactively communicate updates.
One way to ensure you're aligned is to be well prepared for your one-on-one. Take advantage of face time with your manager; this is your time to highlight your performance and ensure you're focusing on the right things. Pathlight makes preparing for one-on-ones easy with a simple calendar integration and agendas automatically enriched with data snapshots, trends, and discussion topics.
3) Offer Solutions, Not Problems
And finally, offer solutions and not problems. When communicating issues, always offer a solution. Being proactive will show your manager that you are able to find resolutions and this will build trust. One great way to achieve this in Pathlight is to use Mini Goals. Managers or employees can set Mini Goals on any metric, and it’s a great way to show a path to success by delineating smaller milestones of a bigger goal.
Managing up is really all about being the most effective employee you can be and showing how you are creating value for your boss and your company. Pathlight helps everyone on customer-facing teams to manage, regardless of where they fall in the org chart: manage themselves, manage up, coach the coach, and praise a peer. Ready to learn more? Book a demo today.