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Managing Upward: Strategies for Working with your Boss


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Managing Upward: Strategies for Working with your Boss

  1. 1. MANAGING UPWARD:STRATEGIES FOR WORKINGWITH YOUR BOSSSFMI School Facilities Managers’Personnel Management AcademyDecember 8, 2010
  2. 2. MANAGING UPWARD IS: Consciouslyworking with your boss to achieve optimum results for you, your boss, and your district Resolvingto bring understanding and cooperation to a relationship between people with very different perspectives
  3. 3. MANAGING UPWARD IS NOT: Brown nosing or manipulation
  4. 4. WHAT WE’LL BE COVERING The importance of seeing the big picture – from your perspective, from your boss’s perspective, and from your boss’s boss’s perspective Public policy or how to make big decisions in the public sector Strategies and guidelines to manage your situation with an upward perspective that engages your boss constructively
  5. 5. WHAT IS “THE BIG PICTURE”? Knowing where you are in the organization and the roles and responsibilities of your peers, your boss, and your boss’s boss Staying aware of the forces at work in public education and your district’s strategies for dealing with them Developing an understanding of the pressures and deadlines your colleagues are facing Avoiding a silo mentality with a near exclusive focus on the facilities function
  6. 6. The Managing Upward Organizational Chart Taxpayers Board of Ed School Super SBG Supervisors Staff
  7. 7. PUBLIC POLICY AND WHY IT MATTERSTO MANAGING UPWARD Fancy name for public decision-making An organized way of assessing the big picture as you approach a big decision Entails a “who, what, where, when, why, how” review that looks up and down, inside and outside the organization Prompts you to understand the interests and motivations of your boss and your boss’s boss
  8. 8. PUBLIC POLICY 101 StructurContent e What Who Why Where Process How When
  9. 9. STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING UPWARD Commit to two-way communications Provide solutions, not problems and no surprises Be honest, trustworthy, loyal and committed Know your boss’s agenda and priorities Understand the boss’s management style Use the boss’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses Don’t go over the boss’s head Walk a mile in their shoes
  10. 10. COMMUNICATIONS Listeners vs. Readers Adapt to the boss’s preferred approach Two-way communications Importance of asking questions Repeat and confirm understandings Seek regular feedback – don’t wait for an annual appraisal
  11. 11. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
  12. 12. SOLUTIONS, NOT PROBLEMS There are always problems to report Professionals suggest solutions to problems Don’t get labeled a whiner
  13. 13. BEST SURPRISE IS NO SURPRISE Report regularly on important jobs and issues Highlight emerging or potential problems Suggest contingency plans
  14. 14. BE HONEST AND TRUSTWORTHY Honor commitments and schedules Don’t cover up problems - bad news ages poorly Be diplomatic and tactful Become the “go to” person on the team
  15. 15. BE LOYAL AND COMMITTED You owe the boss loyalty and commitment Your boss owes you support Respect the boss’s position even if you are having a hard time respecting the person
  16. 16. KNOW THE BOSS’S AGENDA What are they trying to accomplish What are their priorities Why are these things important Never assume – ask questions Get in synch with their motivations Don’t wait for them to tell you
  17. 17. GET IN SYNCH WITH THE BOSS’SMANAGEMENT STYLE Reports – Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Big picture? Or details? Specific format? E-mail? Oral? Memo? Meetings – Like? Dislike? Meet early? Lunch? Late? Don’t assume – ask Try to meet expectations
  18. 18. BEWARE OF HOT BUTTONS AND PETPEEVES Late to meetings? Spelling and grammar? Playing the radio too loud? Foul language? An item may appear trivial to you, but ignoring it could poison the relationship
  19. 19. Management “Style”
  20. 20. USE THE BOSS’S STRENGTHS Tap into the boss’s expertise when needed  Big picture?  Communications?  Creative problem solving?  Resource management? BUT  Respect his time constraints  Treat as a limited resource
  21. 21. COMPENSATE FOR THE BOSS’SWEAKNESSES Determine where the boss may need support  Budgeting  Preparing presentations  Explaining technical issues Try to make work life easier for them
  22. 22. DON’T GO OVER THE BOSS’S HEAD Almost always poisonous to the relationship Always try dealing with manager first Possible exceptions  Manager ignoring a serious problem  Possible illegality  Possible illness or substance abuse problem  Sexual harassment Tread very carefully, document everything, and maintain confidentiality
  23. 23. WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES Seekto understand aspirations, pressures and constraints, strengths and weaknesses Look for commonalities upon which to build a productive relationship
  24. 24. IT TAKES A PROFESSIONAL Managingdown = Managing department and employees Managing up = Managing the situation and relationships with superiorsA true professional does both