The Upward Manager
Although we can’t spend our time thinking about what our boss or higher level leaders need all of the time, we need to spend enough time on it to get the balance right. This means spending some time paying careful attention to the needs of higher level managers, so that either our own efforts or the efforts of the people we manage are meeting wider organizational objectives. In practical terms, this often entails understanding the boss’ priorities, keeping him or her informed more, and communicating the your leader’s input to your team as often as necessary in order to ensure that everyone is “on the same page.” In this sense, the upward manager operates as the “oil” in the team or the organizational “machine,” or operates as the individual identifying the gaps and finding ways to fill them.
- Capacity to cooperate and collaborate
- Critical thinking ability
- Emotional intelligence
- Feedback giving skills
- Perception/judgment skills
Ingredients should be added, blended well and left to mature over time:
- Capacity to cooperate and collaborate: This refers to a manager’s capacity to work positively and flexibly in group situations at all levels, maintaining an open and helpful attitude as much as possible.
- Critical thinking ability: This refers to a manager’s capacity to think rigorously and broadly about issues, challenges or problems (both their own and those of their boss) and to optimize the route to finding potential solutions that work.
- Emotional intelligence: This refers to a manager’s capacity to recognize, understand and harness his or her own feelings and the feelings of others positively.
- Feedback giving skills: This refers to a manager’s ability to offer useful and constructive performance and other feedback that is readily accepted and acted upon at all levels.
- Initiative: This refers to a manager’s capacity to think and act independently and take any necessary steps or action without prompting when circumstances demand that they do so.
- Perception and Judgment skills: This refers to a manager’s capacity to synthesize what is seen, heard or sensed in order to form a clear view of what may be viable and practical as a possible course of action.
“Readiness Recipes” is a new article series exploring 26 different kinds of managers A-Z and the key ingredients that each needs for success. Stay tuned for more recipes and thanks for reading!