In this video series we’re talking about 3 things any organization can do today to increase resiliency in their work space through better communication, starting with the power of 1-on-1’s. The next step from 1-on-1’s is managing upwards. It’s rarely done because it can be incredibly uncomfortable for both leaders and contributors! Done correctly, it’s incredibly liberating for both parties and further enables psychologically safe workspaces that you can have those brutally candid conversations in.
We just posted our final video in this series on this topic.
First, keep in mind that managing up doesn’t mean you’re actually managing your leader. No, what you’re doing is managing expectations, communicating proactively and focusing on information that matters. Much like you expect to be lead – with candor & transparency, managing up is your opportunity to do the same. This is why it’s important to focus on solutions, not problems. As we previously mentioned, it’s completely ok to say “I don’t know,” just make sure to add “and here’s what I’ve done to figure it out …”
Second, you always want to be factual. Certainly provide your first had observations and guesses, but be mindful that you’re not idly complaining or repeating here say. It’s easy for us as humans to focus on the negative – on danger. Our hindbrains are still very much in survival mode still. But there’s no tiger in the bushes waiting to leap out. You have time to stop, breath and reframe your mindset and your thoughts to focus on the possible.
Finally – always lead with candor and transparency. It’s tough especially when you first start on this path of managing upwards, but believe us, stick to it and it will work. Doing so eliminates so much uncertainty and really goes towards adding to that trust bank.
Done consistently, managing upwards is part of the effort in building those critical connections of trust. That trust leads to clearer communication, which reinforces those relationships. When the next crisis hits, the focus will be on coming together and persevering in a way that is mutually beneficial and accountable. This is when, we say, fires end up putting themselves out because they don’t get a chance to consume the tinder and oxygen and grow.
Start managing up if you’re doing 1-on-1’s, and if you’re not doing 1-on-1’s, start already! Take a look at our video, chime in below or drop us a note and let us know about your experiences managing up!