The Secret to Professional Success : MANAGING UP


Do you wonder why some people have meteoric careers & others not? Well, we are going to share with you some management secrets.

It’s common to hear managers talking about managing their team or employees, in fact, hours of training is spent on this to ensure you become a great manager. In contrast, it’s rare to hear people talk about ‘managing their boss’. 

In management terms, it’s referred to as Managing Down (your team or staff) or Managing Up (your boss or whom you report to). Managing Up is a term referred to much less but is incredibly important to understand as an employee. 

Why? Because no manager wants to teach you how to manage them!

And yet if you master these skills you will build a fabulous relationship with your boss and be set for promotion.

Let’s look into this further on how you can best use your skills to manage up with your boss;


  1. Find the right balance of communication between yourself and your boss. You’ll quickly discover what is ‘too often’ communication and what is ‘not enough.’ If you’re missing the brief from the conversation or finding you’re on a completely different path than what you discussed with your boss – you’re probably not communicating enough. Finding the right communication balance is one of the most important areas of Managing Up.

  2. Communicate in the most concise way possible. What is the best way to communicate with your boss for the best outcome; is it via email daily, or a weekly meeting; most likely Zoom currently due to COVID restrictions? Is your boss a face-to-face person and likes to check in with you one-on-one? You’ll quickly find out what gets the best results, but whatever communication you choose, make sure you’re prepared for the meeting, information in hand and ready to go.

  3. Share major but not minor news. A key to managing up is to not share every little thing that happens during your day with your boss. Share those things with a colleague, friend or partner, and very importantly give yourself a pat on the back for that win. However, in terms of Managing Up, share the big wins with your boss … and celebrate your success together.

  4. Share bad news honestly. Unfortunately it’s part of the working work and things happen that are not planned. As disappointing as it may be, be straight with your boss and keep to the facts. Try to keep emotion out of it, and tell yourself, things can go wrong, but more importantly learn from the misfortune.

  5. Be selective when to fight a battle. We’ve all heard the saying ‘choose your battles carefully’ and it’s not different when it comes to managing up. You’re not always going to agree with your boss but it’s important to understand that although you’ve had your say or discussed the options, at the end of the day your boss is in that position for a reason and is your leader. Is saying that, if it’s any issue that is so important that you can not let it go, stand up and speak up – you were hired for your skills and it’s important that you’re heard on something you feel very passionate about. Remember there may be consequences if you ‘step into the ring to battle’, weigh those out too.

  6. Avoid complaints and criticisms about other employees. There is a very simple saying that is incredibly powerful ‘small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas …’
    Each day we have a choice about what we discuss. Complaining and criticising about other employees is a waste of good time. Spend your time and energy on something you can control.

  7. Date and document all-important information. Keeping concise notes and information from your meetings is an absolute must in managing up. It shows how professional you are with your work and if required to check your past notes or refer to a previous meeting, you can do so with sheer confidence. 


Developing your Managing Up skills is critical to your success. It shows professionalism, consistency and best of all you gain an advocate in the form of your boss. Invaluable!

Now you are set with the basics for success, if you want to delve into this topic more we have a short FREE online course for you to complete.

Managing Up