Are You Managing Up?

Our quick concept of the day is Managing Up. If you’re not familiar with the term this article should serve as a good primer into a business concept that will change the way you approach business relationships. So, what is managing up?

Quite simply managing up is approaching your business relationships in such a way that you recognize all of your business dealings are a reflection of you. Let me give you an example: You’re late on a shipment to one of your customers because your supplier is late getting the product to you. Your customer calls you and is bent out of shape because you’re late…what do you do?

If you blame your supplier, and tell your customer what a flake the supplier is and that this has been happening more and more, and you’re dumping that supplier first thing in the morning…you’re definitely not managing up. Blasting your supplier to your customer only makes you look bad, both from a business and time management perspective. In the customers eyes you and your supplier are one in the same. You’re doing business with a flake, then you are a flake in the eyes of a customer.

How would managing up treat this interaction?

You want to paint the people you do business with in the best light possible given the situation. In the example above managing your supplier up would be explaining to your customer there has been a delay and you will work diligently to expedite their order. No mention needs to be made about the flakiness of your supplier; you can manage that relationship in a one on one fashion.

Every business interaction should be treated this way, whether it’s your co-worker, supplier, or business partner, all are a reflection of you. So think twice before you tell someone how incompetent your supplier is, or what a goof ball your business partner is, because what the other person will hear is what an incompetent goof ball you are for being in business with them.

The converse is also true. When your partner, supplier, or co-worker does something great make sure your customers know what an awesome job they are doing. If you have the best supplier in the world you should make sure your customers know that…why? Because in their eyes you are a person who is in business with the best of the best and that makes you look better!

Start managing up and start seeing a change in the way your customers, co-workers, and business partners relate to you. I promise if you do this the credibility and public image of you and your business will improve.