Managing Up: Establishing Work Relationships that Work

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1 Managing Up: Establishing Work Relationships that Work October 30, 2010 Donald E. Gibson, Ph.D. Professor & Chair, Management Dept. Charles F. Dolan School of Business Fairfield University

2 Session Objectives To understand the nature of the bosssubordinate relationship; how to be followers as well as leaders To discuss tools for understanding your boss (and yourself) better To enhance your effectiveness in influencing your boss (and others) To engage in experiences and discussions to share strategies and draw on best practices

3 Agenda What is Leadership? What are the issues you have with your upward relationships? How to have a mutually beneficial relationship Three types of problem bosses Managing your boss: A primer on power and influence Effective influence strategies: A role play

4

5 Alf

6 Emotions in Organizations, Like the Moods of an Irish Setter

7 What is Leadership?

8 What is Leadership? The art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations. --Kouzes & Posner, 1997

9 Leadership versus Management Leadership The art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations. Management The use of authority to obtain compliance from organizational members.

10 Leadership versus Management Leadership deals with: Change Creating a Vision Inspiring, Aligning Motivating Influence Management deals with: Complexity Planning & Budgeting Staffing & Organizing Directing Controlling Doing the right thing Doing things right

11 What do you look for and admire in a Leader? Courageous Mature Dependable Forwardlooking Loyal Ambitious Independent Intelligent Fair-minded Cooperative Broadminded Straightforward Determined Honest Inspiring Supportive Caring Imaginative Selfcontrolled Competent

12 Characteristics of Admired Leaders 2007 Respndents: % of People Selecting 1995 Respndents: % of People Selecting 1987 Respondents: % of People Selecting HONEST FORWARD LOOKING INSPIRING COMPETENT Intelligent Fair-minded Broad-minded Supportive Straightforward

13 Leadership and Credibility The foundation of leadership is Credibility. The Key: DWYSYWD What you do thunders so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

14 We all know what leaders are But we spend far more time being followers. We need to know as much about being bossed as we do about being the boss. Here are the facts: Everybody (at times) dislikes the boss Everybody (at times) complains about the boss The basis of the problem: Status hierarchies are uncomfortable for everybody

15 The Essence of the Relationship We must recognize that a boss-subordinate relationship involves mutual dependence between two fallible human beings. Some people behave as if their bosses are not very dependent on them. Some people behave as if they are not dependent on their boss. What s key is: Your boss needs you. You need your boss.

16 How do you improve the relationship? You develop a good understanding of yourself and your boss, especially regarding strengths, weaknesses, work styles and needs. You use this information to manage a healthy working relationship that is consistent with each person s work styles and abilities, characterized by mutual expectations, and meets the most critical needs of the other person.

17 What do you need to know about your boss? What are your boss s goals and expectations? What pressures are they under? What are your boss s strengths and weaknesses? Blind spots? How does he/she like to receive information? Is your boss a Listener or a Reader? Does he/she thrive on or avoid conflict? Are you able to deliver bad news? What kind of decision-maker is your boss? Slow to act? More impulsive? Alone? Participative?

18 Now it s your time to discuss. What s your relationship like? You, the manager Relationship barriers Your Boss

19 You, the manager Relationship barriers Your Boss Organizational Barriers Individual Barriers

20 You, the manager Communication barriers Your Boss Organizational Barriers Individual Barriers Information overload Noise Time pressures Network breakdowns Information distortion Cross-cultural barriers Differing perceptions Semantic differences Status differences Consideration of selfinterest Personal space Poor listening skills

21 What do you need to know about you? How frustrated to you feel by being limited by the boss s authority? How do you react to that frustration? Two syndromes to avoid: Counterdependent behavior Overly-dependent behavior You also need to communicate your goals and expectations to the boss.

22 Some practical points You cannot change the boss You cannot adapt yourself to whatever the boss wants You cannot become independent of your boss What does this mean? You need to turn the foibles and frailties of your boss into a learning opportunity for you. The Key is Re-Framing.

23 Foreground, Background

24 Lessons in Re-framing

25 A Typology of Bosses (with a nod to the Wizard of Oz ) The Boss with no brains: The Scarecrow The Boss with no courage: The Cowardly Lion The Boss with no heart: The Tin Man See Len Schlesinger, It Doesn t Take a Wizard to Build a Better Boss.

26 A Typology of Bosses (with a nod to the Wizard of Oz ) The key to your Scarecrow boss: Make the boss look smart. His or her cognitive inadequacy is your opportunity. You re typically given lots of room to show responsibility! Keep your boss well-informed, let him/her take the credit Be cautious of the Scarecrow boss who is also a micro-manager Why? People who matter will know who really did the work.

27 A Typology of Bosses (with a nod to the Wizard of Oz ) Cowardly Lion bosses tend to refuse to take a stand, rarely mediate conflicts, and postpone decisions until the last moment. Diagnosis question: What is making the boss reluctant to stand firm? Lack of information? Provide data to support the issues. Does the boss have a different perspective on the issue? This kind of boss means you have to be assertive. A self-starter.

28 A Typology of Bosses (with a nod to the Wizard of Oz ) Tin Man bosses are tough, demanding, impatient, but may be very committed to the organization s goals This environment can enhance your mental toughness the discipline that competition demands. You need to distinguish: Is this a boss who s tough on purpose? Is this a boss who s just tough on people? If it s the former, focus on the content, the task If it s the latter, develop support systems elsewhere

29 Self-Assessment How effective are you at managing your boss? Are there aspects of your relationship that could be re-framed to make your mutual efforts more effective?

30 Power and Influence Influence is the ability to affect the behavior of others in a particular direction Power is the potential or capacity to influence A leader (and a follower) must acquire power to influence others

31 The Current Environment: Influence without Authority This new kind of business hero must learn to operate without the might of the hierarchy behind them. The crutch of authority must be thrown away and replaced by their own ability to make relationships, use influence, and work with others to achieve results -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter, When Giants Learn to Dance

32 Potential Influence Outcomes Your Use of Power and Influence

33 Potential Influence Outcomes Your Use of Power and Influence Resistance

34 Potential Influence Outcomes Your Use of Power and Influence Resistance Compliance

35 Potential Influence Outcomes Your Use of Power and Influence Resistance Compliance Commitment

36 Potential Power Bases Positional Coercion Reward Legitimate Professional Information Expertise Personal Referent

37 Positional Bases of Power coercive power Involves using threat of punishment. Dependent on fear to work.

38 Positional Bases of Power coercive power Involves using threat of punishment. Dependent on fear to work. reward power Compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable.

39 Positional Bases of Power legitimate power The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization

40 Professional Bases of Power information power Power that comes from access to and control over information

41 Professional Bases of Power expert power Influence based on special skills or knowledge

42 Personal Bases of Power referent power Influence based on possession by an individual of desirable resources or personal traits

43 What are your Influence options? Persuasion is one among many influence tactics that can be used. Influence Tactics: Tactics: Rational Rational Persuasion Persuasion Inspirational appeals appeals Consultation Ingratiation Ingratiation Exchange Exchange Coalitions Coalitions Upward Upward appeals appeals Legitimacy Legitimacy Pressure Pressure

44 Elements to consider when using influence Upward, Downward, Lateral Compliance, Commitment and Resistance Content versus Relationship Positive Power versus Negative Power

45 How you can build the relationship Come to an agreement about mutual expectations Ask your manager to share goals and objectives Listen! Let your manager know what you can do for him/her. Determine how you will work together. Make your manager a partner, not an adversary What s key is: Your boss needs you. You need your boss.

46 How to disagree with your manager Tie your ideas or feedback into your organization s and your manager s goals Provide your manager with actionable suggestions rather than simply raising objections Explain how your ideas could help avoid potential pitfalls or overcome risks Give your manager some alternative choices Reflect her concerns in your conversation

47 How you can build the relationship Come to an agreement about mutual expectations Ask your manager to share goals and objectives Listen! Let your manager know what you can do for him/her. Determine how you will work together. Make your manager a partner, not an adversary What s key is: Your boss needs you. You need your boss.

48 Key Point If you don t like something about your boss, don t become like that!

49 Key References Bossidy, L What your leader expects of you, Harvard Business Review, pp Caproni, P The Practical Coach, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. DePree, M Leadership is an art. New York: Dell. Gabarro, J. & Kotter, J Managing your boss, Harvard Business Review, pp Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z The Leadership Challenge. 4 th ed. New York: Wiley. Schlesinger, L It doesn t take a wizard to build a better boss. Fast Company.com, December 18.

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