A Checklist for Managing Your Boss

There will always be those who view the concept of managing upward as flattery and manipulation. Others hold the common belief that if bosses are wise, they don’t need to be managed and such efforts will be viewed solely as attempts to play office politics.

But managing upward is not about ambition, promotions or raises. It’s about the job and how to be effective at getting things done. How do you acquire the resources, information and advice you need, as well as the permission to keep moving ahead?

The answers always point to whoever has the power: the boss. Failure to make this relationship one of mutual respect and understanding limits your chances of succeeding.

People usually have unrealistic assumptions and expectations about the nature of boss-subordinate relationships. They fail to recognize that it’s one of mutual dependency between two fallible human beings, so they avoid managing the relationship altogether or do so ineffectively.

Managers must recognize that mutual dependence between two fallible humans requires two components:

  1. Having a good understanding of the other person and yourself, especially regarding strengths, weaknesses, work styles and needs
  2. Using this information to develop and manage a healthy working relationship—one that is compatible with both individuals’ work styles and assets, is characterized by mutual expectations and meets the other person’s most critical needs

This is a brief synopsis of a 2000 & 1000-word article suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The complete 2,000 word article includes these important concepts:

  • Mutual Dependence
  • Understanding the Boss
  • Understanding Yourself
  • The Counterdependent Manager
  • The Compliant Manager
  • The Passive-Aggressive Manager
  • Reactions to Authority
  • Developing and Managing the Relationship
  • Checklist for Managing Your Boss

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