However, with just a few tweaks to your work style, you can successfully “manage up” and win over even the most difficult of managers or clients.
1. Establish work preferences with them early in the relationship. Ask them how you can best help make their job easier. Soliciting feedback is essential and helps to diffuse tense situations before they escalate.
2. Don’t engage with craziness or take it personally. You are never going to win an argument with someone who isn’t rational. Instead, turn the demand or rant your boss spouted into a calm and positive opportunity. Don’t get defensive. Apologize if you truly made a mistake and arm yourself with solutions. “So it seems you weren’t happy with the situation. Here are some ideas regarding how we can fix things and move forward.”
3. Always follow up with clarification, in writing. After a meeting or a call, send a quick email with a bulleted list about your action items and responsibilities based on the discussion. And make sure you include deadlines. (For example: “I will complete the report by 2:00 p.m. and appreciate your feedback by 4:00 p.m. so we can send it out by 5:00 p.m.”).