December 1

No matter how far you rise in your career, leadership isn’t about being on top, it’s about being in the middle. Everyone – even the CEO of a company – reports to someone. This means that you not only have to learn how to manage those on your team, but also that you must develop the ability to manage up in order to get what you and the team need to succeed.

Sooner or later, you are likely to have a difficult manager. How to you handle a conversation with someone who seems to want nothing more than to make your life more challenging?

First, approach each conversation with respect and assume the best. Go into each interaction with the mindset that everyone is on the same side.

Second, have your supporting facts in order and make your case clearly. Make certain that you can back up your hunches and intuitions with data. Strive to make your argument airtight.

Finally, aim for small wins and build from there. You’re unlikely to get everything you want, so aim for small progress and use it to build relational momentum.

Be strategic in how you “manage up”. Aim for small wins with your manager, and build on them.

Question: Is there a difficult conversation you need to have with your manager? How can you approach it strategically?

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