How can I manage up, down and across?

Written on: 28 March 2019
Written by:Freya King

If you’re a first time manager, you’ll be eager to start the challenge of leading your team. But what you may not have anticipated is the additional task of managing your boss and peers. This process of building and maintaining relationships all around you will provide you with a valuable support network that you can use to get things done.

Managing up

If you play your cards right, the relationship you have with your boss will be one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of your working life. You should draw on their experience and knowledge to improve your own leadership skills.

Get to know your manager’s objectives. Chances are, their goals will align with your own, so you should be proactive in helping them to achieve them.

Always keep your promises, be realistic when setting expectations, and above all, remain professional and respectful towards your manager. In time they will begin to see you as an equal. This is invaluable when it comes to influencing decisions, so it is well worth putting in the effort to build up this relationship.

Managing down

Your primary objective as a new manager should be to outline a strategy to support your team in meeting their goals. Strive to be a strong leader by providing a positive example that everyone can follow. Treat all team members fairly, but take their individual working styles into account.

Encourage innovation and feedback from your team. Show them that you value their contributions and implement their ideas where possible. Having the best interests of the team at heart should drive the changes you make when managing up and across.

Managing across

As a middle manager, the relationships you have with the heads of other departments are vital; the productivity of your team is often linked with how well they can work with other departments.

It is a good idea to uphold clear communication between managers, whether this is in the form of meetings, memos or conference calls. Keeping everyone in the loop will promote an honest, fair and well informed workplace.

Listen to the ideas and concerns of your colleagues. Do what you can to help them by improving the processes within your own team. You will then find that they are more likely to make the same efforts to accommodate your needs. Having everyone on the same page will allow your organisation to become much more operationally strong.

Written on: 28 March 2019
Written by:Freya King