In a recent team workshop, I was asked how to apply the learning on the four core personality styles to the specific relationship of managing up. We need to manage all our work relationships, but the one with our boss is the one most of us want to truly excel at.

If you happen to have a great relationship with your boss, either your personality styles just click or you have worked together long enough to understand each other, well done! Keep in mind all relationships need to be consciously managed so don’t rest on your laurels.

For those of you that have a new boss or have a relationship that could use some work, here are some overall tips on how to approach improvement:

1.Critic your own communication style versus that of your boss and look for different approaches or where the challenges are. Make a conscious effort to adjust your own style to theirs at least 50% of the time.

2.Ensure you are clear with your boss about your needs for communication; your boss is not a mind reader and likely communicates the way they would like to be communicated to rather than adjusting to each of their employees. So help them out, and tell them where you would like to tweak things – try for small changes at a time. So that they can adjust 50% of the time to you.

3.Look for the common ground. Most relationships have challenges but if you can connect on the common ground you will be able to work through the challenging areas more effectively by building a trust base first.

These are some general principles to start with, subsequent articles will focus on each of the four personality styles and where the key challenges and connection points can be found.


Team Building Enthusiast

Author's Bio: 

Lynn is a partner at Conundrum Adventures, a team building company that delivers high quality experiential team building to the corporate market.

Lynn has held executive positions at a variety of organizations. They include EVP of a dot-com start up responsible for vendor relationship management, technology and consulting to VP Global Sourcing for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Throughout her career she has demonstrated the ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve excellent results. Lynn draws on her experience to effectively facilitate team discussions to find creative solutions to the most challenging problems. Lynn holds an HBA and an MBA degree from the Ivey Business School.