Managing up is the art of building a positive and productive relationship with your boss. It can also help you offer gentle coaching to them when they need it.
But how do you manage up without sounding like a brown-noser?
One way is to ask open-ended questions that show your curiosity, respect and willingness to learn from them.
Here are five excellent open-ended questions that you can use to manage up and coach your leaders:
- What are the most important goals or priorities for you and the team right now?
This question helps you align your work with your leader's vision and expectations. It also shows that you care about the big picture and the team's success.
- How do you prefer to receive feedback or suggestions from me?
This question helps you understand your leader's communication style and preferences. It also shows that you value their input and want to improve your performance.
- What are some of the challenges or obstacles that you are facing in your role?
This question helps you empathize with your leader and offer support or solutions if appropriate. It also shows that you are aware of the difficulties they may encounter and respect their efforts.
- How do you balance competing demands or conflicting priorities in your role?
This question helps you learn from your leader's experience and strategies for managing complex situations. It also shows that you are interested in their perspective and challenges.
- What are some of the skills or competencies that you are working on or want to develop further in yourself?
This question helps you provide gentle coaching to your leader by inviting them to reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. It also shows that you are committed to learning and growth, both for yourself and for them.