Managing Your Manager

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A beloved coaching client didn’t get promoted. He missed it by one vote. Unfortunately, it was his skip’s (his “skip level” — his boss’s boss) vote.

“How do your other clients manage upwards?” he asked me, describing a pattern of cool and unhelpful relationships with his executive management over the course of his career.

So I told him about a client, a senior technical director at a large health care organization, who had asked me a similar question. Her direct manager didn’t seem interested in her work.

“Our one-on-ones are brutal,” she had told me, describing their weekly meetings. “I feel like I struggle to get his focus on what I’m doing, to get him to understand, and I can just see his body language shutting down and his tone changing, getting defensive.”

I asked her to think about those one-on-ones more strategically. “What does he want to talk about?” I asked… (Read the rest of the story at The Seattle Times.)