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Back to research & insights Published by Alex Gotch - 6 years ago

How to Manage upwards

An essential skill to enable career progression.

Developing the skill to manage those above you in a way which works mutually beneficially, is an essential skill required to further your career in any company.
Get to know how they work
Observe their work behaviours and try to adapt your style to fit in with theirs:
Does the Partner prefer to communicate over email or in person?
When their door is shut, does that mean ‘do not disturb’?
Manage expectations
If you are working to a tight deadline, keep them updated with your progress. Partners do not like surprises close to deadlines.
Talk to them
Without making the offer sound cheesy, ask them to go for a coffee to help you understand how they like to work and what is expected of you. They’ll likely be impressed that you have asked.
Build trust
If they’re busy and staying late, ask them if they need help. Even if they don’t need it, the offer speaks volumes of your commitment. 
When there is an issue, go to them with a potential solution rather than offering a problem. Your initiative will be impressive (as long as you haven’t wasted too much time) and they will value your effort
Deliver quality
Take time to double check your work. Don’t waste their time with silly spelling errors or typos. They don’t expect you to have their technical legal skills, but they expect attention to detail.