How to manage your relationship with your boss

Managing up makes both your lives easier

Managing up makes both your lives easier

Managing up has a bad reputation.  It conjures images of overworked assistants trying to keep their department together while their manager disappears for another three-Martini lunch. In reality it’s a great way to improve your relationship with your boss.

In fact, [Tweet “everyone can benefit from a little bit of managing up.”] Even if you’re lucky enough to have a great boss, you can make things go a lot more smoothly by tuning in to the way that they like to work.  Don’t think of it as ass-kissing: it isn’t.  You’re just learning how your boss likes to work, so it’s easier for them to see how great you are.

1) Use their preferred communication style

Communication is key to an effective relationship with your boss

Communication is key to an effective relationship with your boss

This is the biggest thing you can do to improve your relationship with your boss.  If your manager runs their life by email, then they probably don’t want you to visit their office unless the building is on fire.  Alternatively, if they’re unreliable about checking their messages, then you’ll need to find another way to get in touch with them.   Phone calls, texts, conversations in the corridor, Post-Its left with Sally on front desk – whatever your manager’s preferred style, try to use it.

2) Mimic their tone in emails

email address on LinkedIn
Managers tend to prefer employees who are similar to them, and the easiest way to impress your manager is to imitate the way they write.
Full paragraphs?  Bullet-points?  Three lines, no full stops?  None of these email styles are inherently right or wrong, so follow your manager’s lead.  If they insist on typing everything in Comic Sans, or signing off with cat gifs, or saying “sorry” every three lines, then grit your teeth and limit it to internal communication.

3) Publicise your achievements

How to improve your non verbal communication

Don’t be afraid to point out your achievement

[Tweet “Smooth the path to a promotion by making sure that your boss knows how hard you work.”] Check in in with them regularly so they know what you’re working on – have a quick chat next to the coffee machine, or send a short email if you work remotely.  Don’t just tell them what was on your calendar yesterday (“What a day!  I had six meetings”), tell them what you actually achieved (“What a day!  I got three new suppliers’ quotes and finalised the venue for next year’s conference”).  In the long term, try to keep a log of your achievements at work.  This will be useful for your next annual review.

4) Ask for what you want

30216617 - what do you want handwritten on school blackboard
[Tweet “Sometimes, the easiest way to get what you want is to ask for it,”] whether it’s flexible hours or more responsibility.  Prepare your case carefully (use that achievements log!) and go to the meeting prepared.  Even if your manager has to turn down this request, you may find that they remember you when another opportunity comes around.

Need some coaching on your management style? Contact 3Plus now!

Alice Bell Contributor
"Alice writes online about business, popular science, and women's lifestyle. After a few years working her way around the world, she has settled in the north of England and taken a day job as a maths teacher. Her life's ambition is to earn enough money to start repaying her student debt."

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

Book Now

There are no upcoming Events at this time.

Dates for the Diary

 

12th January 2021  “Habits to help you work more effectively remotely”  Crop Life Europe - Corporate event

28th January 2021  “Licence  to hire -  Managing Bias in Recruitment”  ENGIE  - Corporate event

29th January 2021  “Licence  to hire -  Managing Bias in Recruitment”  ENGIE  - Corporate event

5th February  2021  “ How to Build your Personal Board“  ENGIE   Fifty-Fifty Programme  - Corporate event

8th March 2021  IWD "How to create a career and networking strategy for career success”   Highquest Partners  - Corporate event  

 

We have Remote Learning Programs available 

Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.

Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

4 Steps to a Winning Mindset

4 Steps to a Winning Mindset

Tips for developing a winning mindset Mindset is particularly important when job hunting or seeking a promotion. It determines whether you show up self-confidently or wracked with self-doubt.   The dictionary defines mindset as “a person’s usual attitude or...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request