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The "Managing Up" Lesson is part of the full, Engineering Management Fundamentals 101 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jem discusses the concept of managing up, which involves managing one's manager by understanding their expectations, priorities, and information preferences. The importance of establishing clear communication and boundaries with the manager is emphasized, as well as the value of regular one-on-one meetings and listening to other managers' perspectives. The lesson also advises new managers to avoid trying to do too much or make drastic changes too soon.


Transcript from the "Managing Up" Lesson

>> When it comes to managing up, are you familiar with the phrase managing up? That essentially means you have to manage your manager, because they have different expectations, they have different things they need, they have different priorities that aren't necessarily focused on you and your team, that's your job.

So managing up is kind of the art of doing that. So when you first meet with your manager, things you should find out pretty early on. What are their expectations? What are they looking from from you? Is it to, I don't know, maybe they want clean objectives or KPIs written down.

Maybe it's just the team should just be functioning and be healthy. What's important to your manager right now? What's important to them in the future? Good things to know cuz it's gonna impact you one way or the other to know that. What information do they care about? Do they care about someone on your team has a dog and they just had puppies?

Is that relevant to them? Maybe, some people like that information about your team. But you can't share everything that's happening because remember, they have other teams and other managers reporting to them. They don't need to know the nuances of everything, so find out what information do they care about?

And what can they help with? Some managers, some senior managers, directors, etc., are not super technical they're not well-versed in your domain. Some are, and they can actually help you in some aspects. But what exactly do you need help with? You have to hire soon, you need help with that.

A lot of times what's helpful is they can tell you who to talk to. If nothing else, who are your partners? They could probably give you insight into that. But it's important to find out what they can do and what they can't do and what they will do and what they won't do.

That's probably an important role to establish. If your manager feels like they're doing too much for you, you're probably not being effective, and you should figure that out pretty early on. The way you do that is one on ones with your manager. Mine are weekly for an hour.

I meet with my manager every week for an hour, which is about the right cadence. Which seems a lot for one on one if I do that for every member of my team, that'd be a lot, but for me, it's really important time every week. And staff meetings, hearing from other managers, see what's going on, their perspective is gonna be different from yours.

You can learn a lot from just listening to other people and what's going on at the company. So the takeaway is when you first become an early manager, don't try to do too much in the beginning. Try to do as, I won't say as [LAUGH] little as possible, cuz I don't want you to feel like Jim told me to chill, so that's what I'm doing.

>> [LAUGH]
>> But by listening it doesn't look like you're doing anything, but you are, and just being curious, it doesn't look like you're anything, you are. And don't try to do too much, don't try to change too much.

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