Managing Up: What It Means and How to Do It

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“Managing up” is establishing and maintaining a cooperative working relationship with one’s immediate superior. Success for you and the company depends on your ability to empathize with their situation, learn their priorities, and successfully convey your own. This article will define “managing up,” explain its significance, and provide practical advice for doing so successfully.

What Is Managing Up?

Managing Up: What It Means and How to Do It

The term “managing up” refers to the practice of establishing and maintaining fruitful working relationships with one’s superiors for the purpose of advancing one’s career. This might include going above and above to meet their expectations, offering insightful suggestions and criticism, and looking for ways to improve the company. Managing upwards is not just about advancing one’s own career; it’s also about fostering a productive workplace culture and assembling a formidable team. It calls for open dialogue, attentive listening, and the desire to pool resources to reach a common objective.

The Significance of Managing Up

Employees who take the time to cultivate positive connections with their superiors are more likely to get constructive feedback and be considered for promotions. By managing up, employees show their bosses that they are proactive and invested in their work, qualities that can set them apart from their peers. In addition, when employees are able to see things from their manager’s viewpoint, it facilitates improved communication and collaboration. Employees may more easily link their job with the company’s mission if they have a clearer picture of the organization’s big picture, which can be gained through management up. Employees are more likely to be invested in the company’s success and driven to do their best work when they have a clear picture of their manager’s priorities and how their job fits into those priorities. Employees that are able to manage upwards often have more visibility in the workplace, which in turn often leads to better career advancement prospects.

Tips for Effectiveness

Communication, strategic thinking, and initiative are all necessary for effective management at higher levels. To begin, learn your manager’s long-term objectives, current priorities, and preferred method of communication. Doing so will allow you to better interact with them and match your efforts with their goals.

Building and sustaining positive connections with your manager and other stakeholders is an important part of managing up. This means you should take the effort to schedule check-ins, inform others on your progress, and detect and solve problems before they become a problem. It’s also crucial to be a problem-solver who actively proposes solutions and enhancements rather than only pointing out issues.

Managing one’s own time and priorities is also crucial while reporting up the chain of command. Being well-organized and productive is essential, as is anticipating and resolving any problems that may emerge. Be a reliable team player that eagerly seeks out ways to help others and advance the company’s goals.

One last piece of advice is to take criticism and course corrections in stride. This involves things like asking for and responding to input from your supervisor and other important people in your organization. Being ability to shift gears and adapt to new objectives or directions is also crucial.

Overall, successful management at higher levels calls for clear and effective communication, strategic thinking, individual initiative, and a growth mindset. As a database administrator, your success depends on your ability to foster positive connections with your supervisor and other stakeholders.

Additional Tips

Managing Up: What It Means and How to Do It

1. One of the most crucial parts of managing upward is having open and honest lines of communication with your superior. This involves both actively listening to their criticism and responding to it in kind, as well as being able to express your ideas and views clearly to them. The ability to keep your boss apprised of your progress on projects and assignments is also crucial.

2. One of the most important aspects of managing upward is to take the initiative. This involves making an effort to anticipate and deal with prospective difficulties. This may involve recommending new methods of operation or technological advancements that might boost the effectiveness of your team or department. Proactivity also entails a readiness to take on more than is required of you and to exceed expectations in all that you do.

3. Know and support your supervisor’s long-term objectives, as this is essential for effective management from above. Taking the time to figure out what it is your manager wants to accomplish can help you better tailor your own efforts to help him or her succeed. One way to show your supervisor you care is to work on projects and errands that forward their agenda, or to propose new ones.

4. Establish and maintain a good rapport with your superiors Having a good rapport with your superiors is a crucial aspect of managing up. Being courteous, trustworthy, and dependable is expected. It also entails being forthright and honest with your superiors and ready to have tough talks when required. Having a good rapport with your superior may help you in many ways, such as receiving constructive criticism, gaining support for your ideas, and moving up the corporate ladder.

5. Be open to new information and other approaches; learning and adapting are constant requirements of management at higher levels. This entails accepting criticism and being adaptable to new circumstances. It also necessitates an openness to learning new techniques and tools, as well as an interest in keeping abreast of developments in one’s field. Being open to new information and ideas can make you a more efficient worker and better prepared for management positions up the chain.


The art of “managing up” is cultivating a cordial and fruitful working relationship with one’s superior. Success for you and the company depends on your ability to empathize with their situation, learn about their priorities, and successfully convey your own. You may learn to effectively manage up and take charge of your own professional advancement by following the advice in this article.


Nemanja holds his master's degree in economics, and he's been writing and delivering helpful guides right at your feet for years! With an audience that counts in millions, he writes an article a day to keep stupidity away.

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