Managing up

Pearls from HBR’s “20 min manager”

Your boss plays an important role in your career and you need to navigate this delicate relationship carefully. You need to understand your manager’s priorities and manage their expectations. To do that you need to know how they define the standard of performance and metrics to measure your success. 

The easiest thing you may do is just ask them to describe what they are looking for in your work. However, what if they do not articulate their expectations clearly, you do it for them! You write them up and share that draft with them to make sure you captured them accurately. Then schedule a follow-up conversation and feedback on expectations. 

Consider asking them these questions early on in your relationship. 

1.      Do you prefer formal or informal delivery of information?

2.      How do you like to process the information? Whether they like to study it before discussion or like to act on spot and reply.

3.      How do you prefer to address problems and conflicts?