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  • Hazel Parker

Managing Up and Down

Updated: May 17


Being a manager comes with numerous challenges. One of these challenges is managing your direct reports (managing down) while also meeting the needs of your supervisor (managing up). Key to effectively doing both is establishing trusting relationships and quality communication. Among other things, managing up involves having a clear understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and goals, being committed to them, as well as knowledge of how your team contributes to meeting them. You must also be able to effectively communicate your team’s successes, challenges in meeting organizational goals, and what your team needs to be productive.


When managing down, you must not only consider your team, but the customers your organization serve as well. Leading your team involves ensuring that their work aligns with organizational goals and policies and procedures, they provide services efficiently and effectively, and that you conduct fair performance reviews. Finally, you must also invest in your team’s personal and professional development by ensuring they have access to training, mentoring and coaching activities that will enhance their knowledge and skills.

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