This is a guest post by Nick Nuss from VocationCultivation.
There comes a time when you have to step up and lead your manager, or any senior manager in your organisation. There might be any number of reasons behind this, normally connected in some way to getting the answers you need to continue managing a project.
Managers are in their position because they were once good at the job you’re doing. That’s usually the minimum requisite to advance.
Many managers fall into bad habits once they move up and do not realise their actions affect their teams. That’s when you might need to manage up.
It’s not easy to manage up the chain, but with proper preparation, you can navigate your way to success. Here are some tips for leading your manager.
1: Give Amazing Feedback
You might have heard the phrase that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Although that’s been debunked by Culture Amp’s research as the main reason people resign, poor management still has the ability to influence a colleague’s intentions to stay.
Instead of leaving a bad manager, why not make it your mission to improve them? Chances are you want their job one day, and these are important skills to have to be better than your manager!
Open lines of communication are a requirement for any cohesive team, and giving feedback is part of being able to communicate effectively.
First, understand if your manager is accepting of feedback. Providing feedback that will fall on deaf ears is a waste of time if done incorrectly.
You will know right away if your manager is accepting of feedback. Open dialog when you are working together helps you know your manager will not snap at you when you tell them to change something.
Here are some quick tips to ensure your manager will open up a little more.
- Find a private area to provide feedback. No one wants to be called out in public!
- Provide positive feedback before negative feedback
- Talk about the benefits to the team if they make a change!
- Raise a perceived problem and allow them to make the decision to change
Read next: 4 Management Styles for Giving Feedback
When a manager is unwilling to listen to feedback, they may remain distant or become defensive when the subject is raised. They may blame other factors. Empathise with the manager to let them know you understand their vulnerabilities. Open them up by asking their help with something.
If all else fails, remember that people need to be willing to change in order to enact that change. We cannot do it for them. The goal of feedback is simply to provide others with the information to make a change.
2: Clarify What You Need
We have wants and needs within our daily lives. This does not end with the want of a new car, or the need of transportation. At work, we may need something but can’t get past the want. In the instance of the new car, we want something flashy with heated leather seats. The need however is getting around and a city bus would perform the same task with a smaller bill.