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Art of Managing Up

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 77 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2008 Pages: 10-15
Tracy G. Gove M.P.A.
Date Published
June 2008
6 pages
This article explains the features of "managing up," which it defines as "focusing on relationships with superiors to achieve personal, professional, and organizational goals more effectively and efficiently."
Management involves accomplishing goals by leading and directing others who perform various functions under the policies and goals set by the top executives of the organization; however, this process is most efficient and productive when those who perform the frontline and middle-management positions provide feedback and insight to their immediate superiors about ways that their work can be done more efficiently and effectively. This "managing up" interaction between employees and those who supervise them can be improved by the development of a number of capabilities and characteristics in the employees being supervised. One of the important capabilities is "emotional intelligence," which involves personal and social awareness and proficiency. It refers to the effective management of oneself and relationships with others. It consists of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skill. These resources facilitate constructive interactions with managers that are cooperative and mutually constructive in terms of improving performance at each level of the management chain. Employees must also seek clarification from their supervisors about what is required of them, so there will be no doubt about the performance standards by which their work is being judged. Managing up also requires that employees assess their supervisor in terms of their personality characteristics and management styles. This involves determining whether they are open to suggestions, whether they are sensitive to any implication that there should be changes in how work is performed, and whether they are authoritarian or are conducive to a team approach to getting the work done. This assessment will determine the approach taken in managing up so that cooperation rather than conflict emerges. 20 notes