The Art of Manag­ing Up, Out and Down

The Denver Post - - JOBS & EDUCATION - By Kath­leen Win­sor-Games — Kath­leen Win­sor-Games is the prin­ci­pal of The Win­sor Group, a Den­ver based firm of­fer­ing ca­reer coach­ing and ex­ec­u­tive coach­ing. See our blog at www.thewin­sor­group.com.

Have you strug­gled to get a pro­mo­tion or re­ceive recog­ni­tion in the past? This month I will fo­cus on the keys to se­cur­ing your next raise or op­por­tu­nity by shar­ing some of the se­crets of get­ting hired, get­ting recog­ni­tion and get­ting ahead at work.

Most of us were raised to be­lieve that “it’s not po­lite to brag” or that “you shouldn’t toot your own horn.” Then the re­al­ity of the work world sinks in once you re­al­ize that keep­ing your head down and do­ing a great job isn’t nearly enough.

You must mas­ter the skills of manag­ing up, manag­ing out and manag­ing down. Com­mu­ni­cat­ing with ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment (manag­ing up) takes a dif­fer­ent thought process and set of com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills than in­flu­enc­ing peers (manag­ing out). Like­wise, it takes a dif­fer­ent skill set to lead staff to ac­com­plish team goals (manag­ing down). While there are im­por­tant com­mu­ni­ca­tion and so­cial skills that ap­ply at ev­ery level, you need a mas­tery of these three skills in order to suc­ceed.

One key to ca­reer mas­tery is learn­ing ef­fec­tive po­si­tion­ing on the job, while avoid­ing the dan­gers of suc­cumb­ing to neg­a­tive of­fice pol­i­tics. Fo­cus on these ar­eas and you will find your ca­reer mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion:

• Hone your pri­or­i­ties to align with the stresses and pres­sures that your boss faces so you can make him or her look like a rock star,

• Un­der­stand the mo­ti­va­tions and dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ca­tion styles of your peers so you can build bridges and boost your in­flu­ence, and

• In­spire, en­gage and hold your team ac­count­able to in­di­vid­ual, team and com­pany goals

Let’s take the case of Sally (not her real name) who joined a tech­nol­ogy start-up as a graphic artist and their eighth em­ployee. As the com­pany grew, Sally took on the role of su­per­vi­sor of the fledg­ling mar­ket­ing depart­ment. At first, she strug­gled to sep­a­rate her friend­ships with former peers from her new role as man­ager of a team with de­mand­ing dead­lines on mul­ti­ple mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. Sally had to learn how to hold her team ac­count­able and del­e­gate ef­fec­tively with­out mi­cro-manag­ing.

Over time, Sally ex­panded her mar­ket­ing skills sig­nif­i­cantly and showed a real im­pact on the com­pany’s rev­enues. Her will­ing­ness to lead the charge on in­te­grat­ing tra­di­tional and tech­nol­ogy-based mar­ket­ing tools led to a pro­mo­tion to mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor.

Later, when Sally was pro­moted to the role of Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer, she faced a new set of chal­lenges. Now she had to learn about the chal­lenges faced by the Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer, the Chief Tech­nol­ogy Of­fi­cer and VP of Hu­man Re­sources. In ad­di­tion, she spent more time re­port­ing re­sults to the CEO. In order to in­flu­ence the de­ci­sion-mak­ing of her peers, she learned to em­pathize with their chal­lenges and present so­lu­tions that made busi­ness sense to them, and the CEO. She had to think more strate­gi­cally and in­spire her team to pro­duce at a higher level of en­gage­ment and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

No mat­ter your level in the or­ga­ni­za­tion, it pays to im­prove your pro­mote-abil­ity score. Your goal is to in­crease your hire-abil­ity, pro­mote-abil­ity, strate­gic think­ing and in­flu­enc­ing skills.

Mas­ter these skills and they will help you get hired, get rec­og­nized and get ahead.

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