We coach leaders.

# 14 Managing upwards

I’m in the business of supporting leaders in my role as a leadership coach.  My clients and I spend lots of time exploring how to get the best out of their team members.  But we sometimes forget they also need to nurture their relationship with their leader.  Hence the title of this blog – Managing upwards – which is the street wise term to describe this.

A colleague recently sent me an article that drew my attention to the importance of managing upwards in order to get on.  Called Managing your Boss, it was written by John J Gabbaro and John P Kotter and re-published in the January 2005 edition of the Best of Harvard Business Review.  My son found it a helpful read so I thought to share it with the readers of my blog as well.

The ‘how to’ of managing upwards

Gabbaro and Kotter recommend a 3 step checklist:

1. Make sure you understand your boss and his or her context – including their objectives, pressures, strengths and weaknesses and preferred working style.

2. Assess yourself and your needs, including your strengths and weaknesses, your personal style and your “predisposition to authority figures”.  I translate this latter phrase to be about understanding your comfort or discomfort levels with people who currently have and have had authority over you .

3. Develop and maintain a relationship with your leader that fits both your styles, keeps them informed, respects their time and resources and is based on dependability and honesty.

Needing help?

If you think you might need help with some of this, give me a yell at [email protected]

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