The ability to keep up is an essential talent that will benefit everyone.
Contrary to what many employees think it’s not about criticizing their mistakes. It’s about finding a way to move forward and completing what needs to be accomplished while remaining professional. It’s also about creating trust, respect, and open and honest communication. Additionally, it helps your boss control you more effectively because they are aware of your needs and communication style.
In reality, only a tiny percentage of managers can become a successful managers. Gallup research indicates that approximately one out of 10 individuals can lead. In fact, Gallup shared that individual contributors are typically promoted to manager status because of their achievements in their roles that aren’t managerial. However, an CareerBuilder study found that five-quarters of the managers did not undergo formal management training before getting promoted. Therefore, managers’ direct subordinates must determine the best method to collaborate, resulting in them directing up.
There are numerous benefits for managing your boss. For example
- Improve your management abilities
- The art of arguing for yourself
- Showing others how to manage effectively
- A healthy & safe work environment for all staff
- Understanding the needs of your manager’s preferences, behaviors, etc.
Here are a few of the reasons employee’s should be able to manage
- The manager doesn’t communicate expectations even at all.
- Provides contradicting information regarding the project or task
- They’re hands-off
- They never get to the point where they’re talking
- They’re not sure
- They assign last-minute jobs with minimal information and quick turnaround time for the task’s completion
Here are three strategies an employee can effectively manage their boss.
Create a Partnership With Your Manager
The aim of creating solid relationships is to build trust. If managers are confident in an employee and trust them, they’re more likely to listen to the employee when they give constructive feedback. They’ll also want employees’ opinions and perspectives on issues. Unsurprisingly, many employees are afraid to engage in difficult discussions with their bosses to provide constructive feedback. In avoiding these difficult discussions, they allow the issue to grow. The result is the employee feeling angry or exploding, losing interest, or even becoming passive-aggressive, to name several.
A valuable lesson from a mentor in my career is that providing constructive feedback to an individual shows you appreciate yourself. It also lets them know that you trust them and believe they can make changes to improve their lives through the feedback they receive. This has helped me overcome my fears of engaging in difficult discussions with employees or managers since I know it’s coming from a positive source and is intended to assist them.
Instead of trying to determine a manager’s communication style and preferences, you can ask the manager directly. By asking directly, employees know what is essential to their boss and refrain from doing things they do not like. It will also make it simpler to handle up and give constructive feedback when needed.
Here are some questions employees may ask their boss to help them get to know them better.
- What do you want me to do to connect with you? Through Slack? Email? A casual conversation? One-on-one formal meeting?
- Does this preference for communication change base on the circumstances?
- What is your preferred method to get feedback?
- How do you provide feedback? Discuss with them the way you prefer to be notified
- How often do you want notifications on your status?
- If you’re unavailable, who would you suggest I contact for assistance?
- What kind of conclusions do you want me to take by myself? What choices do you want me to make under your direction?
If an employee is proactive and enthusiastic, they show that they are eager to be successful. This usually inspires other members of the team to take the same actions. Employees can take the initiative to find work they want to be done instead of waiting for their bosses to decide what task they will assign.
Here are some strategies employees can be proactive when it comes to managing their boss.
- Asking questions
- Establishing relationships with your peers and understanding how to make use of their strengths to accomplish specific tasks
- Mentoring junior employees
- The process of developing and improving
- Inquiring for feedback
- Accepting more responsibility
- Offering regular status updates
- If an employee is unavailable or absent
- Recognizing any gaps in processes, systems, or policies and offering solutions
- Preparing for meetings and helping
Another approach to be proactive is to schedule a regular meeting between the employee and their manager and to be prepared with a plan. One-on-ones are essential as they allow the employee their manager’s complete attention.
Here are some suggestions to gain the best value from an employee-manager one-on-one
- If your boss does not ask about your goals for the future, provide that information, and do not be afraid to incorporate it into future conversations.
- Take advantage of these one-on-ones to discuss your preferred method of receiving feedback.
- Discussion of long and short-term goals
- Ask them to share what they think are strengths and what areas to take advantage of
- Learn more about their careers journey
- Get help for the challenges you’re experiencing.
Set Goals and Advocate for Yourself
Self-advocacy and initiative both go together. If a manager is either new or experienced, It’s crucial to be proactive and set goals, define boundaries, and be a champion for yourself. Self-advocacy doesn’t just mean praising achievements; it’s about prioritizing mental health and professional goals and requirements.
Here are some examples of what self-advocacy can look like.
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Talking up when your workload is getting overwhelming or you are exhausted
- Need Assistance
- Working with others
- Managing your time
- Sharing accomplishments
Employees often believe their boss will know when they’re struggling and will jump to aid immediately. But, the truth is that their manager is likely to be hidden under their work. Being remote can make it difficult for managers to recognize the signs that an employee is struggling unless it is brought up to them. This is why employees must be proactive and talk to their manager immediately to get the assistance they require. In addition, if someone has discovered an effective method to accomplish something, they should be sure to bring it to the manager‘s attention.