Struggling with Your Boss? Learn to Manage Up
Sarah James, Certified Executive and Business Coach

Although at times it may seem difficult to establish and maintain a strong relationship with your boss, it is paramount to your success. Depending on your manager this may seem like an impossible task.
We have all been in your shoes.

This exercise breaks down how to enhance your relationship with your superior into four easy to follow steps.
1. Understand you manager
You need to ascertain how your manager defines success in their role and career. Ask yourself, what motivates your manager? Describe their leadership and communication style. How does your manager endure risk and change? Describe how your manager makes decisions. What are your manager’s professional and personal goals?

2. Understand relationship with your manager
Write down at least five things your manager expects you to achieve. Where are you in achieving these objectives? How does your boss expect you to communicate on subjects like progress on projects, results, and issues? How do you think you are doing in meeting these expectations? How much confidence does you manager have in you? How committed are you to helping your manager reach their professional and personal goals? Are there any past issues that were not resolved? What are your manager’s expectations of attitude and professionalism in the workplace?

3. Understand how to strengthen your relationship with your manager
Begin by asking your manager how he or she sees your relationship as well as your work performance. How can you communicate more effectively with your manager? Is there any discord you have with your manager that you can change? What judgments or perspectives do you have of your manager that you can change? Describe how you can help your manager reach his or her goals and look better in your organization.

4. Get into action
Schedule a time to talk to your manger about your performance. Next, consider areas that you will take responsibility for and resolve past problems. To clear up these issues you need to decide if you are going to let the past go or admit to mistakes. This may seem like a daunting task as first, but it can be liberating and will free you up to enhance your performance in the company. Establish what you will do to help your manager succeed professionally and personally. Finally, be creative in taking other action steps that will enrich your relationship.

The steps listed above will help you feel empowered that you can create change in your professional environment. Creative problem solving and taking initiative to resolve issues will help you grow at any stage of your career.

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