The term, managing up, means communicating and coordinating with your boss or manager to meet the requirements of your job and help him in meeting his own job objectives. In other words, it means building a successful working relationship with your superior or manager. Managing down is equally important to managing up, whenever it is deemed essential.
Managing up can be considered as a vital tool for every individual's career management. It is important for employees to understand the responsibilities and goals of their managers to be able to assist them in achieving those goals. This is done by actively communicating, assisting, collaborating and coaching your boss whenever required. However, to manage up you do not need to turn yourself into a yes-man; you just need to be genuinely concerned about your manager achieving his goals.
Communication is the key here, as your manager will be able to make improved decisions, only if he or she has full and timely information. You should be able to communicate effectively and timely as per what is expected out of you. This becomes even more important if you have difficult bosses or seniors. Moreover, understand the mode of communication that your manager prefers. Some of them prefer to read first and then listen. On the other hand, many other managers prefer to listen and then read.
The role of a typical manager is normally interpreted as managing the personnel who are answerable to him. However, it is not only a one-way process. If you are an employee, even you need to manage your manager. In other words, provide him with all the necessary and timely information to assist him in making improved decisions.
To be able to manage up efficiently, you need to know all about your manager. Get to know about the weaknesses and strengths of your manager. Help him overcome his weaknesses and at the same time support his strengths and help in increasing them.