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Become who you are. Make what only you can make.Friedrich Nietzsche

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Managing up

Managing up

Take into account your line manager's personality traits to build a more harmonious relationship with him/her.

Author(s): Mary Abbajay

Publisher: Wiley

Date of publication: 2018

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The boss-subordinate relationships constitute a topic that speaks to most of us from experience. Cases of disagreement are common. Quite often, we are tempted to put the blame on our boss and to underline their shortcomings. After all, he/she is the one in charge. To become a legitimate manager, they’re the one who should be the “best”. The subordinate can only suffer the behavior and accede to their demands.

In this book, Mary Abbajay disputes this perspective. The subordinate is not a victim; he/she has much more influence on the relationship than they think. And even when facing the most difficult personalities, there are means of action. First step: uncover the personal mechanisms of his/her boss, understand how they determine their personality at work. For example, is he/she introvert or extravert? What are their deep drivers? To facilitate this decoding, Mary Abbajay proposes four archetypes of bosses: dynamic, analytical, animator or consensual. These categories are not strict—they can even combine—, but they have the merit to explain some preferences, some routines as well as, sometimes, the emergence of associated shortcomings. The author demonstrates that these dark and light facets are inseparable. Frustrations emerge when employees focus their perception on the dark side—or even exacerbate it through their own behavior.

From this premise, Mary Abbajay invites everyone to invest into the co-construction of a more harmonious relationship. Her recipe? Take into account the other person’s values and preferences, adjust with flexibility your relational strategy. To conclude, she provides some survival advice when faced with “impossible” bosses. A comprehensive book, useful on a daily basis.