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What is "managing up"?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [L4] at Google10 days ago

I've gotten some feedback from peers on my team that I should "manage up" more. So:

  • What do you think "managing up" is?
  • What are examples of things you do to "manage up"?

P.S. I have clarified this with the people I've gotten feedback from. But asking here to get the "taro perspective" since y'all tend to have great insights.

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    Engineering Manager at Mistplay
    9 days ago

    Managing up is assuming that your manager is super busy and as a result then telling them exactly what you need them to do.

    Examples:

    • We talked about my promotion 6 months ago, I delivered my results, can we collaborate on my promotion packet now?
    • I'm look for growth opportunities and have landed my last few features early and they were very successful. Can I lead the next project coming up about X?
    • I've been stressed when receiving feedback from you. I prefer feedback written when it is negative feedback so I can process it at my own speed first, and then discuss in person as a follow up. Can you do that for me?

    The opposite of "managing up" would be assuming that since they know the precursor for each of the above questions, then they should already know what you need from them.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    7 days ago

    Great question! We literally have a course about this exact topic coming out in the next few days (taught by a former VP at Amazon).

    Managing up is about understanding your manager, their communication style, and their concerns. Then adapt your working style to best "fit" with your manager..

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