Managing Up Book Summary - Managing Up Book explained in key points
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Managing Up summary

Mary Abbajay

How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss

4 (218 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

'Managing Up' by Mary Abbajay is a practical guide to building strong, productive relationships with your boss. It offers tips for effective communication, self-advocacy, and achieving professional success by working collaboratively with your manager.

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    Managing Up
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    Introverted and extroverted bosses require different communication styles. 

    When you want to build interpersonal relationships with people, including your boss, it’s important to understand what makes them tick. How do they tend to communicate and where do they get their energy from? 

    These aspects of personality are usually determined by a person’s level of extraversion, so ask yourself: Is your boss an Outie – that is, an extrovert? Or is she an Innie, or introvert?

    To answer this, look at how your boss behaves. 

    An Innie boss will often focus on her own thoughts and ideas. This means that she may not share much information with you and might only give you her opinion when you ask for it. This sort of boss doesn’t interact much with her colleagues and tends to reflect on decisions before making them, meaning that she’s slow to respond to people’s queries.

    In contrast, a typical Outie boss focuses on the external world of people and her relationships with them. She’ll happily share her knowledge with you; in fact, she may even give you too much information sometimes. You’ll usually know what she’s thinking because she’ll readily tell you, and her friendly attitude will shine through during her regular interactions with staff. 

    There’s nothing wrong with either Innies or Outies, whether you’re a boss or a subordinate. However, problems can arise when there’s a mismatch between your level of extroversion and your boss’s. Luckily, there are tried and tested strategies for managing up an introverted boss. 

    For example, if you’re an Outie working for an Innie, you may want more interaction and advice than she tends to give. In this situation, try being proactive. Arrange some one-on-one time with her, and make it your mission to initiate meetings instead of waiting for her to do so. When you do get that precious time with your Innie boss, try not to be too chatty; you’ll get a better response if you keep your interactions tightly focused on the task at hand. 

    In contrast, if you’re a stressed Innie who feels drained by your Outie boss’s constant communication, there are also ways to manage up. First of all, extroverts need to feel that they’re being heard, so listening, nodding and showing interest while he speaks at length can be a positive step. Second, get comfortable with offering your opinion, even if you have doubts about what you’re saying. Extroverts don’t mind if you think out loud, and they welcome open communication.

    At the end of the day, your approach to communication is the key to managing up both Innies and Outies, along with two other personality types, which we’ll look at in the next blink.

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    What is Managing Up about?

    Managing Up (2018) explores ways to improve your relationship with your boss. Featuring effective strategies for coping with any type of manager, it explains how you can deal with difficult leaders and how to turn a bad boss into a great opportunity for professional growth. 

    Managing Up Review

    Managing Up (2018) offers valuable insights on how to build effective relationships with your superiors and achieve professional success. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It provides practical strategies and actionable tips for effectively managing your boss, enabling you to navigate workplace dynamics with confidence.
    • Combining real-life examples and research-backed advice, this book equips you with the tools to develop strong, collaborative relationships with your superiors.
    • With its engaging storytelling and relatable anecdotes, Managing Up keeps readers hooked, ensuring that you won't find it boring at all.

    Best quote from Managing Up

    Give your micromanager time to get used to you and trust you before you start pushing for change or autonomy. 

    —Mary Abbajay
    example alt text

    Who should read Managing Up?

    • Employees working for a horrible boss
    • Corporate go-getters looking for fresh insights
    • First-time managers seeking a different perspective

    About the Author

    Mary Abbajay is an author, speaker and management consultant. As the president of the leadership development consultancy Cornerstone Group, Abbajay helps organizations foster the skills, strategies and workplace culture required for 21st Century success. 


    © Mary Abbajay: Managing Up copyright 2018, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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    Managing Up FAQs 

    What is the main message of Managing Up?

    Managing Up empowers professionals to take control of their relationships with their bosses.

    How long does it take to read Managing Up?

    The reading time for Managing Up varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Managing Up a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Managing Up is worth reading because it provides practical strategies for building strong relationships with your boss.

    Who is the author of Managing Up?

    Mary Abbajay is the author of Managing Up.

    What to read after Managing Up?

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