Carrie Jones // March 28, 2011 // Advertising, Branding, Public Relations, Social Media // Comments Off
Nearly every profession and every title requires one to manage up and down the chain of command. It’s especially critical in a marketing agency where there are dozens of balls in the air at any given time and multiple people touching every project.
The following are some of my tips for managing up:
- As with most things in life, effective communication is critical. The form the communication takes should vary based on who you’re managing. Familiarize yourself with your boss’s communication preferences. Some people are better with information in written form, and even that can vary. Figure out if the person likes a lot of detail or just the facts in a bullet format. Other people want information verbally. If you think about it, it’s a lot like managing clients. You constantly have to make sure you are providing the right amount of information and in a format that is conducive to their style.
- Squash the fear. Don’t be afraid to manage up. Whether you’re the account coordinator or the account supervisor you must be comfortable with managing those above you. Trust me, they want and appreciate it!
- Be dependable by not making them second guess whether something has been managed or seen all the way through. As you progress, your manager’s trust in you will grow and so will your value.
- If you are unsure of something it is always OK to
approach your manager with questions. I strongly encourage you to come in with an overview of the challenge and the possible solutions you are contemplating. Try not to come into their office without having thought through the potential scenarios.
- Be proactive. As the saying goes, do the job of the title you want, not the title you have. Take the initiative and your boss will take notice.
- We’re all busy no matter what title we have. Do the person you’re managing up to a favor and headline whatever it is you want to discuss with them. As someone who has an open door policy, I never mind when someone pops in, but it is extremely helpful to get the quick overview. By providing top line info first, it allows me (and the person you’re managing up to) to ask for more details if they want or need it. Pouring out a stream of consciousness is not the way to go.
At the end of the day, you want to make the life of the person you’re managing up to easier, not harder. When in doubt, ask them how you can help, what you can take off their plate and how they prefer to be communicated to.