AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / November/December 2019 / Volume 24, No. 2

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

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50 AALL SPECTRUM | WWW.AALLNET.ORG REFERENCE DESK BY DOLLY M. KNIGHT, MARIBEL NASH & SCOTT VANDERLIN BUSINESS EDGE Managing Up I like my boss, but they often micro- manage me and my projects. How can I work more effectively with them, so I don't feel that someone is constantly looking over my shoulder? Q Maribel: Leading someone you report to, or managing up, can be necessary whether you have a great or terrible relationship with your manager. To be clear, managing up is not about manipulating your boss. It's about determining how to work with someone to whom you report in a way that will produce the best possible results for your organization. It is about making it easy for your boss to be your boss. Try to establish communication systems early on for checking in and getting questions answered. Agree on how and when to update your manager on your work. You might have a manager who is a phone person, while you are not. You might have a manager who likes to be updated way more frequently than you prefer to update. Rather than labeling them a micro- manager (or risking them labeling you a slacker), have a conversation in which you establish the rules of engagement directly with your manager, and then follow them. It also helps to pay attention and to be a bit of a mind reader. The better you anticipate your boss's needs and demonstrate your understand- ing of them, the more confidence and influence you will build with your manager. Make it easy for your manager to give input. If you have a problem, try to give a proposal or suggested solution rather than an open-ended "What should I do about …?," which puts the onus back on your boss. If you give options and allow your manager to give you a quick yes or no answer, you make it easier on both of you, and you also have quietly demonstrated that you are an independent, critical thinker and a capable employee.

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