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Here’s why you should learn to manage up


21 June 2020 at 9:27 pm
Maggie Coggan
We take a look at why putting yourself in your manager's shoes could put you ahead in your career


Maggie Coggan | 21 June 2020 at 9:27 pm


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Here’s why you should learn to manage up
21 June 2020 at 9:27 pm

We take a look at why putting yourself in your manager’s shoes could put you ahead in your career

The idea that you should be managing your manager might seem a little odd, but stay with me. 

Your manager probably isn’t perfect, as most people aren’t, and if you can see they have a lot on their plate there are a few easy changes you can make to understand what they want from you, and how you can do your job better. 

We sat down with Nicky Mackie from People Assets for some advice.

Why is it a good idea to learn how to manage up? 

I guess it does seem like a funny idea, because your manager is your manager and their role is to lead and support you. However, there’s definitely a time and a place where leaving titles at the door is necessary, because we’re all here for the same reason – to ensure that you’re achieving the best outcomes for your organisation. Sometimes what that requires is to make sure you’re both on the same page.

Where should someone start? 

One of the simple things is to make sure there’s clarity around what the priorities of your leader are, and drill down from that as to what that means for you in your everyday role. 

So say your organisation is looking to increase the provision of service to 24 hours, and it’s your job to recruit volunteers into the organisation. Your role is to say, “okay, how can I achieve that?” That typically breaks down into a number of different steps, such as where do I find them? How do I induct them? How do I give them the right support? 

By breaking each step of a task down like this, you are better able to understand your manager’s priorities, and build awareness of the quality they are expecting. 

How does this help your career? 

It gives you the opportunity to always put yourself in the shoes of the person asking you to do something. It also gives you an ability to keep track of an idea that has a multitude of angles and a multitude of workload that comes underneath it.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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