As with any relationship, the one between the manager and their reporting is two-way. Both parties have to navigate the sometimes bumpy startup road. Some managers are easy to work with, and you feel like you have known each other for many years. You may be trying to force two repelling magnets into one another in some duos. Your relationship with your boss will likely be somewhere in the middle of these extremes.
There is plenty of advice for managers, whether you are a new leader or an experienced one looking to improve your skills. Many concrete strategies and tactics become less specific when the attention is on those being managed. It’s well-known that building a relationship with your Medical manager is hard work, even if you treat each other like ducks to water. However, the instructions for doing it often don’t pack much punch.
This is partly because managing up can be a complex topic. It includes everything from building rapport and trust to decision-making and communication style to conflict management and goal setting with higher-ups. We’ve spent the last few weeks asking some of the most knowledgeable people we know to give their opinions on the critical question.
We were mainly focused on using borrowing strategies that could be used immediately. These experienced leaders in startup management gave us a wealth of information that is rarely available. While some tips are focused on communicating effectively and consistently, others come from experienced managers who have plenty of examples to show what their direct reports should do. We know you might not agree with every tip, but you will find at least one that you love to use.
There are many low-level strategies to help you manage your team, whether you’re starting a new job or looking to improve your working relationship with your boss. This mega-list has been broken down into seven sections. Click below to go to each one.
It is not surprising that communication was the main focus of most tactics we source. While you cannot predict how your manager will react to situations or prioritize their priorities, you can control how you deliver your message. It’s a win-win situation to calibrate your message for your manager’s style.
We have found that First Round uses this tactic to help us iron out differences in our working styles. Managers and their reports should create a user guide. This includes preferred communication channels, work schedules, and valuable information. Even if you have worked with your manager for a while, the user guide exercise can serve as a refresher or help you see some of your assumptions.
In my early PM career, although I made sure to mention the goals and feedback that I required from leadership reviews, I didn’t take the time to tell them what I wouldn’t discuss. Although it sounds easy, I have found that if you don’t’ clearly communicate the topics you will not cover, irrelevant issues and discussion can dominate reviews.