May 2018

Page 58

WORK Solution

Manage Up

Build a better relationship with your boss with help from corporate consultant Mary Abbajay. Why is it important to manage up? “Often, we have a boss who doesn’t work the same way we do. We can’t change other people; we can only change how we interact. Become a ‘boss detective.’ Look at their communication style. Do they prefer face-to-face or texting? Do they like details or are they more high level? Get to know their priorities. What are they being asked to do by their boss? Then, ask yourself the same questions. Once you have an honest assessment, you’ll see where the gap is and can decide if you want to adapt your behavior.” 50 Southwest may 2018

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Let’s talk about different leadership styles. How do you deal with a micromanager? “First, recognize that the micromanager’s habits stem from an inner need. It might be a need for control or information. Don’t take it personally. Flood them with information before they ask and stay one step ahead. It requires extra effort, but slowly they’ll start to trust you, and then there’s a good chance they’ll ease up.”

What about the absentee boss? “Take charge and schedule short, regular meetings. They’re going to cancel half, but hopefully you’ll get the other half. Be prepared and have specific requests. And don’t be afraid to do things on your own. I’m an absentee boss, and my employees will email me and say, ‘Here’s what I’m doing. If you have any concerns, let me know. Otherwise, I’m taking this project and moving it forward.’ I love that, and it gives them a chance to shine.”

How does managing up serve you in the long run? “Really great bosses shift their management style based on the person so they can get the best out of each employee. If you can learn how to do that when you’re managing up, you’re going to be all the better at it when you are the boss.”

Enter to win Abbajay’s book, Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss, and see the official rules at managing-up. ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS GASH

4/11/18 10:54 AM