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Managing Up With 9 Types Of Managers Including Yours

Managing Up With 9 Types Of Managers Including Yours will be discussed in this article. Realistic advice on how to handle the most recognizable nine types of bosses and have a positive working relationship with your manager. Realistic advice on how to handle the most recognizable nine types of bosses and have a positive working relationship with your manager.

An empathic employee experience expert who is passionate about making positive changes, building fulfilling workplaces, and influencing the future of work through distinctive viewpoints.

Managing Up With 9 Types Of Managers Including Yours

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It’s not a coincidence if the term “managing up” has been appearing frequently in your newsfeed lately. The search term “manage up” reached an all-time high in popularity in 2022 and has been rising ever since, according to Google Trends.

The increased interest in managing up can be explained by the tendency toward distant work. There is an increasing amount of friction in workplace collaboration and communication as more and more people are able to work remotely. The ability to manage up has grown much more important and difficult.

In today’s business, managing up is unquestionably a valued skill set. Gaining proficiency in managing up will accelerate your career and enable you to collaborate with managers more easily.

Everything you require to know about managing up will be covered in this article, starting with A and going all the way to B, which stands for Best Managing Up Employee Your Boss Has Ever Known.

What is Managing Up?

A lot of people have entered the discussion on what managing up entails:

According to Wes Kao, co-founder of the $25.1 million firm Maven, managing up is a secret since most people believe that we should manage our bosses, not the other way around.

Managing up is defined by Mary Abbajay as “consciously and deliberately developing & the maintaining effective relationships with the supervisors, bosses, and other people above you chain of the command” in her book Managing Up: How to Move up & the Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss.

Essentially, managing up is “being effective employee you can be, creating value for your boss & the company,” according to Harvard Business Review contributor Dana Rousmaniere.

What is Managing Up

In summary, managing up entails realizing and responding to the following three points:

  • The success and happiness of your career are greatly influenced by your boss.
  • Your professional success and contentment are not your boss’s top priorities.
  • You are fully capable of leveraging the relationship you have with your boss to benefit the firm, your boss, and yourself.

What Does Managing Up (Actually Look Like? + Tips

You might be wondering, by this point, what managing up actually looks like. How can you begin managing up from now on?

Here are some useful advice from us:

Find out your boss’s work preferences (and also yours)

Like in a love relationship, there are communication and work style parallels and variances between you and your spouse, in this case, your manager. Relationships at work function best when both parties respect one another’s choices. Respond to the following queries in order to manage up:

  1. What kind of communication does your boss use? Whether forceful, passive-aggressive, aggressive, or passive-passive?
  2. Which leadership style does your supervisor possess? Is it transactional or transformative?
  3. What time of day does your supervisor work? And when is your boss the most responsive (so as not to bother them)?
  4. Does your supervisor like to get updates via a meeting, a report, or both?

Examine your supervisors’ actions before you ask. Next, evaluate your personal inclinations and determine how you may satisfy your supervisor while upholding sound boundaries. 16Personalities and other free personality tests might be useful.

Simply putting yourself out there when and how your boss wants to be approached can greatly boost your chances of receiving a “Yes” and make life easier for both of you.

Align, align, align

It’s important to align. Spending time honing low-priority work that you believed to be high-priority is not something you want to do. Delivering a remarkable product and then realizing you misinterpreted the requirements is not what you want to happen. You don’t. And what do you know? That also irks your supervisor because it detracts from the team’s output.

Begin managing up by proactively speaking candidly and often with your bosses regarding:

  • The priorities of your team and your business
  • The precise goals and requirements for the assignments you’ve been given
  • How often should you provide your management an update on your progress? Which platform is it on?

Assume responsibility and go forward with your team’s alignment process. Did you know that daily stand-ups are standard procedure for tech teams, including those at Google and Facebook? Team members coordinate their priorities, completed, pending, and impediments at daily stand-ups.

A daily stand-up tool for your team can be presented to your management. It may be as easy as Lexi Daily, a Slack bot. And your boss will appreciate that one day!

Bring bad news (and provide solutions)

Individuals who lack managerial skills wait for their superiors to identify an issue and issue a directive to address it. When you can predict problems and notify your manager as soon as possible, they will appreciate it.

After all, your supervisor can’t be a know-it-all, and an unresolved issue will ultimately lead to the team’s failure. If you can stop it, you’ll earn the respect and confidence of your manager.

It’s more effective to deliver terrible news as someone who can also solve problems. You can apply the formula below:

  • I see that we are having issues with
  • And I believe we have three options: A, B, and C.
  • I suggest option A since…

It’s just not feasible to have answers to every problem, so don’t stress if you don’t. But exercise caution—always bringing out obstacles in the absence of answers won’t help you either.

Help your boos stay on the ground

One of the key components of managing up is managing expectations. Many people complain about having unreasonable demands made by their bosses. Actually, not many people are aware of the efficient methods for controlling expectations.

If you believe your manager is being unduly demanding, take control of the issue and pose the following two questions to yourself:

  1. If you put forth a little more effort, are you able to satisfy your manager’s expectations?

Because of their superior performance as individual contributors, managers became managers. They hold themselves to a very high standard.

When they hold you to their standards, don’t be shocked. Over time, your career will profit from pushing the boundaries of your capabilities and making extra efforts to complete the assignment.

  1. If you truly can’t, what data does your supervisor need in order to reach the same conclusion as you?

Managers sometimes overlook the details because they have to see the greater picture. As a manager, assist your boss in realizing the amount of time, money, and effort that will be required to accomplish the objectives they have set.

You can support your explanation with documentation from earlier, fruitful ventures. “When we launched product the outcome was fantastic, & the it took us X weeks to gain traction,” as an example

That being said, you are surely aware from personal experience that it is difficult to persuade superiors to reduce expectations. The best course of action is frequently to trust them and attempt to follow their lead. If so, ensure that you:

  • If the deadline cannot be reached or the cost will exceed your budget, notify your management in advance.
  • To provide evidence for your conclusions on why something works or doesn’t work, keep track of your progress.

Step up to grow

You’ve always wanted the opportunity to learn new skills, but it hasn’t arrived yet, right? Waiting for a formal work rotation or training offer from your supervisor is not a good idea.

A lot of workers are unaware that helping others is the best approach to advance. Does anyone on your team, including your supervisor, require additional assistance with a difficult task? Do you think learning more about that would be interesting? Watch and inform your management of any ways you may assist.

Keep in mind that you must perform your duties effectively first. If not, your manager won’t be willing to give you additional tasks.

Remember that insecure employers may perceive your offer of assistance—or even your general management—as a threat since they fear you will usurp their position.

What comes from the heart goes to the heart

Let’s be honest at the end of the day. Building a strong working rapport with your boss is the foundation of managing up, enabling you and your manager to collaborate effectively and accomplish the objectives of the business. If that relationship is real, won’t it be nice?

Your manager is a person, just like you and me, with hopes and anxieties. Maybe you could try getting to know your employer a little better by bringing up more personal subjects during lunch or your one-on-one meetings:

  • What fundamental principles guide your life and work?
  • What is the ultimate professional objective you hope to accomplish?
  • In your 20s, what was the most important lesson you learned?
  • How do you maintain your motivation?

If you work hard at it, you and your manager can have a great working relationship. As Michelle Obama stated, “It’s harder to hate up close,” in her biography Becoming.

Your supervisor can end up being one of your favorite people if you get to know them better. Who knows?

Drive outcomes

Finally, if you’re not good at your job, no managing up strategy will help. Thus, as you go on your initial steps towards managing up, strive to be a typical 5-star employee as well:

  • Have high expectations for your actions.
  • Keep your assignments due on time.
  • Offer improved methods of accomplishing things.
  • Less grievances and absence of office politics

How Managing Up Benefits You

It may appear difficult to manage up because nice things don’t come easily. Developing your ability to manage up will benefit both your mental and professional development.

In terms of a career, managing up will raise the possibility that:

  • You complete your work.
  • Your supervisor is aware of your ability.
  • You receive favorable performance assessments from your manager.
  • You receive a promotion.

Having your former manager write positive things about you will undoubtedly help you find your next dream job, even if you decide to quit the organization.

Additionally, managing up will improve your wellbeing:

  • You feel less stressed and anxious when you and your boss don’t argue as much.
  • You have more self-esteem when you receive recognition at work.
  • By assuming responsibility for your manager’s relationship as well as your work overall, you give yourself the ability to be the one in charge and not the victim of the circumstance.

Finally, in all fairness, not every boss is made equal. Some people are formally trained as leaders, while others are not. While some people are shy around strangers, others are friendly. Like everyone else, managers have areas they would like to get better in. They will return the favor if you provide them a helping hand.

When Should You Manage Up?

Do you recall the day you started your very first job? That’s when you need to start becoming in control. You build your professional identity and create the groundwork for your future workdays by starting early.

Thus, congrats to those of you for whom that day hasn’t arrived yet! You’ve hit the gold mine, multiplying your career growth by 100. What many took years to grasp, you now know.

It’s also acceptable for the majority of us, who entered the industry with the expectation that one day we would be able to manage down rather than up. The moment to begin managing up is always now. Examine your boss-you relationship and determine what works and what doesn’t. Try out the managing up strategies we covered earlier to give it a refresh. Developing strong relationships will always benefit you professionally and can occur at any stage of your career.

Managing Up with 9 Types of Bosses

Here are some tips for handling nine common boss kinds. Humorously inspired by the book HBR Guide to Managing Up and Across.

1. If you have a whole new boss

Your manager recently departed the organization, and you will need to establish your management reputation all over again with the new manager. How are you going to win over the new leader?

Perhaps your initial reaction is to create a pitch about your accomplishments so the new boss won’t think less of you. Unfortunately, most people have that as their plan. Just picture the new manager’s state of overwhelm.

Rather, take charge and provide the new management with the resources they truly require:

  • Give it time; share tidbits of information about your work and yourself.
  • Workstyle observation: Take note of the new manager’s communication and leadership philosophies and make an effort to work with them.
  • Provide background: Educate the new manager on the team’s history of triumphs, setbacks, and dynamics.

2. If you have a Zoom boss

These days, it’s not uncommon to have a manager that you have never really met. Try the following strategies to manage up in the situation:

Discuss expectations and set ground rules

Is there a project management application on your team? When and how should you provide updates on your progress? Do emails need to be responded to in less time than a day? What about Slack or Teams messages? Remote managers will be grateful if you bring up the difficulties they frequently face in keeping track of their teams’ development.

Have the water cooler chat

It’s simpler to strike up a conversation or chuckle at random when you meet your employer in the office since it fosters a more personal relationship. Make an effort to duplicate that in the online office. Why not show your boss that hilarious web video you found? Perhaps begin your subsequent meeting by giving each other a quick update?

Maintain open and honest communiction

When you operate remotely, miscommunication triples and can have a variety of negative effects. Inform your manager whenever you have questions or differing opinions. Though it could be unsettling to bring up the subject, your manager will value an open and content employee over one that is subtly perplexed or disagrees.

3. If your boss is insecure

If your boss is insecure

An insecure boss may first go unnoticed since they frequently present themselves as a demanding, dominating, or credit-grabbing boss. Here’s how to handle yourself and improve the connection if your manager exhibits any of those symptoms:

  • Recommendation: Recognition is unpaid. Inform your insecure manager of any actions they take. They will feel more at ease trusting their staff if they have greater confidence in themselves.
  • Update regularly: To keep control and a sense of significance and authority, insecure bosses frequently micromanage. By proactively updating them on your progress, you can avoid the micromanagement.
  • Save face: Have a private conversation with your insecure manager to share any feedback you may have, since this will help preserve their already brittle confidence. After all, who likes to receive public criticism?
  • Give credit to your management for your achievements: Working together with your manager will be advantageous. To allay your manager’s concerns about you outperforming them, treat your accomplishments as team successes.

4. If your boss knows it all

If your boss knows it all

Most of the time, bosses have good reasons to believe they are experts. Sometimes, though, it goes too far and makes it more difficult for them to accept new concepts. If so, think about using the following strategies to improve your situation:

  • Allow them to discover your idea: When you “pitch” your ideas to your bosses, who are all-knowing, they are likely to disagree and point out problems. Try presenting the ideas as drafts instead, and get their input. Allow them to select the gem from among your concepts.
  • Give them the knowledge that will enable them to see things from your perspective if you have reason to believe that the course of action your supervisor is insisting on will not be successful. Make sure you approach this subtly. Periodically bring up the relevant information, or allow them to speak with the individuals who can provide the missing details.

Here, it’s important to let them reach their own conclusion rather than proving them incorrect.

5. If your boss can’t decide

Is your manager frequently reluctant to take the necessary actions to advance your project? Try the following advice to help you handle up:

  • Information provision: Provide all the data required to reach that conclusion in a coherent and orderly manner. Give your management reasons to be optimistic about the success of your recommendation.
  • Develop trust: To enable your manager to assign decision-making to you, it would be even better to gradually cultivate trust with them.
  • Have a talk: If things have gotten extremely bad, call a meeting of all the important and capable team members to let your boss know that they need to decide quickly to prevent any negative effects on the firm.

6. If your boss goes on and on about everything

 If your boss goes on and on about everything

Managing a verbose boss might take a lot of time. However, things don’t have to be that way. Take a look at the following remedies to help you handle the situation:

  • The underlying reason: Did your employer feel compelled to demonstrate their abilities because the more senior manager was present? Is it genuinely a habit? If, like in the previous case, the cause is situational, try to comprehend your supervisor or find an other way to handle the matter. Read the next steps if it’s a habit.
  • The non-subtle approach: Have a cordial conversation about this with your supervisor. Since you’re probably not the first to challenge them, there’s a good possibility your supervisor is aware of their bad practice, and your reminder will encourage them to become more concise.
  • If you believe your supervisor isn’t ready to hear the truth, you might use the “Your time is precious” option. “I understand that you have limited time and are busy, so I will keep our conversation under X minutes and strictly adhere to the agenda,” is a good way to start a conversation with your supervisor the next time you speak with them.

7. If your boss under-manage

Despite having a boss, you don’t feel like you have one. It feels great at first, having so much freedom and power, until you need assistance and your manager is unable to provide it because they haven’t followed the proper procedures. Here’s how to control your supervisor who is too easy to handle:

  • Sync up with your boss’s priorities: If your boss has more important initiatives to focus on, consider whether you should assist them with those as well. If your supervisor is occupied cultivating connections with other departments, higher-ups, or clients, consider how you may leverage their connections to further your career.
  • Thank your manager for the guidance: Your manager may be a bit hands-off at times because they believe that’s how you prefer things to be. Inform your boss how much you value the guidance and how they can support you.
  • Establish a regular catch-up schedule. Demand and capitalize on your 1:1s. Additionally, you can arrange for weekly or even daily catch-up sessions with your manager. It only needs to be for fifteen minutes a day in the morning.

8. If (you think) you’re smarter than your boss

It takes place. You are more competent than your employer. Alternatively, you believe it. In this scenario, how should you handle things? Below is our list of dos and don’ts:


  • Be certain that you are more intelligent. As unlikely as it may seem, your boss was chosen for a purpose. Although they may lack the technical expertise to perform jobs in-person as well as you, their leadership is superior.
  • Aim to depose your employer. seldom succeeds.
  • Speak up to higher levels to the save the greater good if your supervisor has produced some disaster or is routinely functioning below par.


  • Be the final component your boss needs in the jigsaw. Every boss has advantages and disadvantages. Rather than letting your manager’s weaknesses depress you, consider how your skills and abilities may support them in those areas.
  • Consider the positive side. Every person you encounter has something valuable to offer and something to learn. Look for something about your manager that you can truly be proud of.
  • Look for additional mentors. Why don’t you broaden your horizons if, in the end, your boss isn’t the mentor and manager you wish you had? In their specialized fields, your fellow employees can serve as mentors for you. Step up your networking skills!

9. If your boss is actually a board of directors

Here are three important factors to think about if you’re the CEO and you have to oversee the full board of directors (BOD):

  • It ultimately boils down to your staff and shareholders. Employees are the ones who keep your business going, and the BOD works in the best interests of shareholders. The Board of Directors won’t have faith in you if your staff or shareholders don’t.
  • Look for filmmakers who have insightful viewpoints. In order for the BOD to serve as the CEO’s advisory board in addition to serving as the shareholders’ watchdog, make sure the new directors your shareholders appoint have the necessary training and experience.
  • Every year, assess BOD. More and more businesses are routinely reviewing its board of directors to make sure that only the most qualified and suited directors remain on board.

How to Managing Up Without Crossing the Line

Finally, it’s critical to keep in mind that managing up does not include going too far or undermining your management. It’s all about supporting your manager in reaching their objectives, which will help you reach your personal objectives as well.

As you adjust, watch out that you don’t go too far by:

  • retaining your professionalism at all times, especially in trying or unpleasant circumstances. Respectful communication, adherence to corporate guidelines, and a high standard of integrity in your job are all required.
  • observing the official approval process to the letter. It is not appropriate for you to act against your boss’s official orders or sign documents on their behalf without their consent.
  • Keeping a constructive and positive working connection with your management. Be focused on finding solutions, and don’t just offer but actively solicit helpful criticism.

Striking the correct balance between being assertive and maintaining a positive working relationship with your manager is essential to effective managing up. The relationship between you and your boss should ultimately benefit both of you.


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