Have you taken an assessment of any sort and been surprised with the results?
When I take 360 degree assessments like Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DiSC or Leadership Effectiveness Assessment I always find something surprising in the results. Sometimes surprising good and sometimes surprising uh-oh!
A platform that can show you strengths, blind spots and opportunities helps inform what may need acknowledgement and attention. When thinking about managing up, the tendency is to focus on fixing or changing a boss or manager; or changing the way a manager or boss is approached. Either way, managing up has to start with you. Ignoring or skipping your own managing up – your development – as the first step, will make managing up to others more challenging.
“Until you start believing in yourself, even the easy will seem impossible.”
(attributed to Deborah A Stansil)
It’s the oxygen mask! Remember flying? Remember the safety message? Passengers are told to fix their own oxygen mask first before helping others. You can’t be helpful if you’re running on empty. You can’t improve a situation if you’re not operating with support, skills, knowledge and confidence.
When you focus on your voice, visibility and know your values this leads to you having more confidence to manage up others, to you being seen as an expert, a leader, the go-to person; and more likely to be considered as first choice for opportunities.
Voice includes speaking up during meetings; contributing your expertise to conversations; asking for opportunities; handling impromptu questions; and (in conjunction with values and boundaries) being able to say no when you need to.
Visibility includes how you are seen by leaders and decision makers in your organisation and industry.
Values which are those aspects, beliefs, items that you hold as valuable. Your value is also the standards of behaviour, your judgement of what is important in life.
Your development is what you do to improve yourself. It includes improving talent, potential, self-awareness, confidence and any aspect of one’s life that helps realise goals. Many experts divide personal development into key areas, eg, education, spiritual, physical, emotional, social.
For fun try this Manage Up Wheel to find an activity you could do as part of your own managing up:
To manage up successfully, start with you, focus on your development. As Warren Buffet says, the best investment you can make is in yourself
I’d love to know your thoughts.