Very few individuals in the workplace do not have to be involved in upward management. Even a business owner may have to upward manage to a bank, lender, high level customer or key supplier. Gaining compliance from other people, is all a part of working and being in business. Skills in upward management are ESSENTIAL TO ALL.
So, what if you have a big project and you need to get some key people involved, or you need to get the agreement from your senior to implement a new innovation? Do you have a disconnect with the decision makers who can affect your work, or do you have open and strong communication channels?
If you need to work with another personality and fear there may be issues, start early to develop the relationship.
Get to know the other person and look for common ground where you can communicate away from workplace items. Perhaps you both share an interest or live in a location, complete a sport or have children at the same school – Search out whatever you can for commonality.
Once you have this basis, work out what their personality style and communication style is like. TRY TO MATCH IT. If they are a no-nonsense person, who makes quick decisions and does not have time for idle chatter; do not engage in idle chatter but get straight to the point. If they are someone who likes a chat and enjoys social engagement, engage with them in this way. I always remember the little saying ‘like likes like’ meaning that we tend to like people who are just like us.
Develop a relationship built on equality – don’t just be a yes person. Push back on items that you feel strongly about, but remember that arguments based on emotional reasons are far less likely to be accepted, than argument based on clear rational thinking. Collate your proof and have at the ready, to back you up.
Utilise EMPATHY – the most powerful tool in your ‘dealing with people’ toolkit. Simple statements like ‘I understand your point of view’, or ‘I can see where you are coming from’, can do wonders for your ability to manage the other person. Empathy deflects anger and disarms people.
Praise would have to be the number 2 tool to use – who can resist ‘you do such an amazing job’.
Act like a professional – as stated earlier don’t base your argument on emotion, hearsay or gossip, be a professional and develop a business case for what you are after. Become a professional, who the other person trusts to be honest, and have well thought out points of view.
By valuing yourself and utilising some smart techniques, you may be able to better manage your superiors or just those you need to gain agreement from.
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.