Managing Up - Getting What You Need from your Boss

Managing up can be a slippery slope.

One of the highest rated sessions in our new manager training repertoire covers how to handle difficult management conversations. The bulk of the participants are managers who want to learn an effective way to discuss a worker’s poor performance. But, more and more, we are seeing participants who want some tips on how to get what they need from their boss.

Bosses are people too and reflect the same human frailties as the rest of us who report to them. They can find conflict upsetting and may try to avoid emotionally disturbing situations. But there are times when we need them to advocate for us and protect the team from unreasonable demands from THEIR boss.

Here are our three tips on how to communicate your request:
  1. Problems and Solutions, not People. Don’t name names, name the problem. And if you have a solution, share it.

  2. Be Prepared. Provide facts that back up your case.

  3. Set the Stage. Let your boss read first and talk later. By submitting your request first in written form, you are more likely to have a conversation that will bring the results you seek.