A financial services executive had had a great quarterly result so he and the team had been out to celebrate. Shortly after the celebration an announcement was made, the executive and his team were to have their line manager replaced. The new boss had a reputation for being highly demanding of people and utterly ruthless with those people who didn’t live up to his expectations.
Managing Upward RelationshipsThe first step in managing upward relationships is to understand your line managers objectives and ensure you are the biggest contributor to helping achieve them.
Being a line manager is a challenging role and one which is in part rewarded on the performance of the team. In such a role there is nothing more valuable than people who are committed to the teams objectives and performance. There are three things you can do to help your line manager achieve their objectives:
Understand what your line manager needs you to achieve and achieve it.
Understand what your line manager needs their other line reports to achieve and support those people in achieving them.
Understand the big picture of what your line manager wants to achieve and go above and beyond the call of duty to make contributions to helping them achieve.
Doing these things will very much put you on the front foot in managing upward relationships. You will make yourself invaluable to your line manager and position yourself as a potential assistant or deputy to them. You need to watch out for people who are insecure, who may feel threatened by you. There may also be some office politics as there may be others that see themselves in the role you are creating for yourself and who don’t take kindly to you stepping up. So take care.
Managing upward relationships is about lowering your self orientation and increasing your awareness of the needs of your boss. Then it’s simply about being genuinely helpful so your boss reaches the point where they believe they couldn’t achieve what they want without you.
By: Matt Bird; author is creator of Relationology