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

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Managing Up is a skill that will help you develop strong relationships, which will increase cooperation, collaboration, and understanding between those who have different power levels and perspectives. It's not about brown nosing, schmoozing, or sucking up. It's about developing robust relationships with the people who have enormous influence over your career. Being able to effectively manage up is good for you, good for your boss, and good for your organization. Self-awareness is also a hallmark of success, and Managing Up will teach readers about themselves, too. One of the most effective insights is to understand your own personality and your boss's to see how you can adapt yours to theirs. In Managing Up, you will learn strategies to quickly assess who you are, and who your boss is, and then understand where and how you can align to move forward. (This works for spouses and partners, too.)

224 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 7, 2018

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About the author

Mary Abbajay

2 books2 followers
Mary Abbajay is an acclaimed and sought after author, public speaker, organizational consultant, facilitator, trainer, and author. She is the author of Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss, published by Wiley Press. Mary is also president and founder of Careerstone Group, LLC, a woman-owned professional development consultancy that delivers leading-edge talent and organizational development solutions.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews113k followers
December 8, 2018
A concise read that provides a quick overview of bite-sized advice for several types of managers. I appreciate that Abbajay gives a reality check for why managing up is essential for moving up in the workplace, and her rationale throughout the book is solid. She balances both empathy for the reader and the unfavorable manager by reframing people's behaviors as part of their personality traits that you need to learn to adapt to in order to collaborate effectively. The advice is no-nonsense, straightforward, and encourages self-sufficiency and flexibility across a variety of manager dynamics. Although I wish she dived deeper into some of these dynamics, I think the book is still a good starting point in reframing how to approach employee-manager conflicts.
Profile Image for Gwen.
1,043 reviews33 followers
September 28, 2018
"Year after year, studies show that the most common reason people leave their employer is due to having a bad boss…" (xv)

I was way too far gone with having a Nightmare Boss to really make the best use of this book when I first started reading it. As Abbajay defines it, the Nightmare Boss is "the boss from hell. This is the boss whose behavior is beyond the pale. Working for this person is totally soul sucking. You dread coming to work. You walk on eggshells in her presence. The very thought of him makes you furious. Your stomach is in knots. … You have lost all confidence, motivation, and self-respect. You come home from work every day exhausted and demoralized. Sunday evenings feel like the night before you are to report to prison. Some days you wonder if you aren't suffering from PTSD. You don't see any light at the end of the tunnel." (10-11).

Unfortunately, I had settled into victimhood after 2 years of this Nightmare Boss. I know my reactions and how I was feeling was wrong, but this Toxic Job sucked me in to victimhood: "That place where you feel emotionally ravaged every day. That place where you are completely and totally emotionally and psychologically drained. That place where you have no options, no hope, and no joy. That place where you give away all your power." (7) I knew, rationally, that I could have made the choice--probably with lots of therapy--to make the situation better. But I just didn't have the emotional energy left to adapt and manage up…

So I took Abbajay's advice in the "It's Okay to Quit" chapter and left. I was tired of being part of an organization that turns "a blind eye to managers who crush souls, disengage employees, and ignore the importance of growing talent…[that didn't] hold managers accountable for employee engagement, happiness, and retention." (5) I'm looking forward to applying Abbajay's concepts to a new job. It feels so nice to have a fresh start and finally be equipped to attempt to successfully manage up. And hopefully, this book will help me be a better manager someday.

Abbajay shares tips on how to play with the hand you're dealt, not fixing the system. While the system of continued poor upper management is the root problem, she focuses on how to manage what you've got, for better or worse. She discusses the best ways for interpersonal relationships: how to treat others as they would like to be treated. "This is about your boss, not you." (40) She describes how best for introverts to relate to other introverts and extroverts, and how extroverts can best relate to other extroverts and introverts. She then describes the four broad workplace styles (fairly familiar categories for those who have taken leadership classes) and notes that most people are a combination of styles:

** Advancer: favors actions + results; doesn't like slow, methodical employees who ask a lot of questions; focuses on results, not feelings; bring them solutions, not problems; ask what, not how; shouldn't take their brusque responses personally
** Energizer: focuses on people and motivation; should work on building relationships with the boss; think/move quickly; be optimistic (ie, don't be a Debbie Downer); ask for clarification (since they tend to not dwell on specifics)
** Harmonizer: focuses on team harmony; should be methodical and develop relationships
** Evaluator: (probably also a micromanager…); facts facts facts; tend to not develop staff; perfectionist; lose the forest for the trees; shouldn't drop surprises on them; always be prepared; facts + details are very important; make sure you manage your emotions around them since they are fact-driven

Abbajay then describes the 10 categories of difficult bosses and notes why this section is important: "If you stay in the workforce long enough, at some point you are going to experience a difficult boss. Because most organizations still promote people based on their technical skills and not their managerial aptitude, you are more likely to experience mediocre or difficult bosses rather than great bosses. While this is unfortunate, it doesn't have to be the end of the world or a roadblock in your career." (81) Working for a difficult boss, she explains, is something you should embrace and appreciate since "you will learn and grow more from a difficult boss than you ever will from a great or easy boss. A difficult boss will challenge you in more ways than you can imagine." (83) [This is a bit problematic for me, though. The system is clearly broken, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around what is essentially workplace hazing "for your own good." "Great in the long run!" "Strength of character!"]

The 10 categories are: micromanagers, ghosts, impulsives, narcissists, pushovers, best friends, workaholics, incompetents, seagulls and nitpickers, and the "Truly Terrible: Psychos, Tyrants, and Bullies" (82). For each type, Abbajay includes a number of real stories, concerns, and strategies to manage up. She also helpfully includes a "strategy recap" at the end of the chapter for a quick guide/memory refresher.

Having a boss who met criteria for 8 of the 9 categories, I was intrigued by the chapter on "The Truly Terrible." When I took Abbajay's quiz to determine the severity, I wasn't shocked...but it was nice to see external validation that "excluding you from team meetings and communication channels," "pit team members against each other / create divisions between those in favor and those out of favor," "demand absolute loyalty but will throw you under the bus at the first opportunity," "refuse to accept responsibility or blame / blame you or others for his 'errors'," and "give you unreasonable job demands, deadlines, or goals" (172-173), among others, are, in fact, problems. After being gaslit for so long, it was refreshing to know that what I was experiencing wasn't normal.

Should the same misfortune befall you, Abbajay includes some strategies that might work (179-182):
** Adopt a survivor mentality
** Distance yourself
** Protect your psyche
** Maintain your professionalism
** Stay out of the line of fire
** Activate your support network
** Take care of yourself
** Plan your exit
** Document everything
** Make the business case
** Seek expert support

In the chapter on quitting, Abbajay lists some signs that it might be time to quit (186):
** You wake up miserable every day and dread going to work.
** Your physical and emotional well-being are being damaged.
** You feel unsafe (physically or emotionally) at work.
** You find yourself hiding at work from your boss. You walk on eggshells and are in constant fight-or-flight mode.
** Your stress level is permeating your entire life.
** You spend more time and energy thinking about office politics or strategizing to survive your boss than you do on your work.
** Your self-esteem and self-confidence have plummeted.
** You are living in fear, stress, or unhappiness.
** You've tried to make it work, and nothing makes it work.
** You are ready to shift from surviving into thriving.

I resemble all those remarks. None of this is normal, even by post-recession standards, and if you're experiencing any of this, it's okay to want to leave. Quitting isn't a bad thing!

I'm looking forward to reexamining this book in a few months to see how to best adapt and manage up. Abbajay gives such concrete suggestions and strategies that I'm sure will be helpful in my career.

h/t: Arlington Public Library

Profile Image for Emily.
388 reviews11 followers
June 10, 2019
I'm just getting started in my first Big Girl Job, where the nature of our work includes rotating between teams with different bosses & personalities. After a couple of months, I thought I'd figured things out, only to have things flipped upside down when the next boss expressed different preferences & communication styles than the previous. Rather than keep getting whiplash, I wanted to learn how to meet each of my bosses where they are.

"Managing Up" was just the quick and dirty sanity-booster I was looking for. Abbajay shows how to evaluate and improve relationships with any boss in your life. Some tips are intuitive, some are not, but the overarching framework gives you a versatile and sturdy foundation to stand on.

Abbajay herself is a difficult boss: blunt and efficient with no trace of warmth. I kept thinking about how much I would hate working for her, but then I saw the point. By writing this way, Abbajay presents herself as a big red practice target for readers to learn coping skills. Brilliant. Still annoying, but brilliant.
Profile Image for th..
212 reviews16 followers
December 23, 2021
A nice accompaniment that complements my recent “career” read “Crucial Conversations”. Informative yet easy to read. Sometimes the colloquial language might seem a bit jarring to others (aka still don’t ask me why I hated the words Innie/Outtie, IDK I JUST CRINGE) but the rest is great.

Would recommend. 4.8 ⭐️
Profile Image for Ingrid.
286 reviews
September 23, 2018
Disclaimer: Dear my entire team + manager who follows me on Goodreads. This isn't @ you guys. This is just some personal growth I'm trying to achieve in order to be better and work better.

Aside: the book recommends you not to let your coworkers follow you on social media. And today I realize why.

My review/self-reflection/oops I wrote another essay on goodreads:

I randomly found this book in one of those recommended career self help book sections in a bookstore. Yo girl may or may not be fucking up at work (answered below) so I immediately requested this from the library when I got home. I think this book is relevant whether your boss is good or bad. This book is also super applicable in all relationships you have at work with people that are senior than you (which for me is 99% of the people because I'm a lowly employee). Obviously, it is aimed at your direct manager and that relationship, but it also helped me identify different types of people I worked with, that while do not manage me, are still working relationships I want to improve upon.

To be very honest, while reading this book, I realized I've been fucking up (lmao). I've done quite a few things the author specifically says do not do. So yes, even though a lot of things here might be common sense, I think in the moment, it's hard to really diagnose yourself and see what you're doing. What I really like about the book, is how the author really helps you dissect your own working style and then asks you to question your own behavior in relation to your coworkers/manager. I think coming in, I expected more of 'this is how you can deal' type of book, but instead, it's really about taking initiative and learning how to react to different situations and learn/grow from them.

I really like how the book is written and organized. The big message the author drives home is that everyone is different. Working, whether it's with your manager, coworker etc, is going to be different and difficult (on various levels and degrees) just on the basis of different personalities. Someone might be an extreme extrovert while you're an introvert. Someone might love blue sky brainstorming while the other is more focused on data and results. Everyone's background and priorities are different and instead of taking a frustrated and antagonistic view on it, there are ways to alleviate tension and work with all different kinds of people. The author breaks the book down by personality and work style types. She gives recommendations on how to identify each personality type (gave me Meyer Briggs vibes tbh), and how to respond in a way that suits each personality. Your manager may be one type or a combination of a few. Either way, there's no cure all one solution, but -

the big tldr;
1) Do not treat others the way you want to be treated.
Controversial considering this is what you're taught growing up. This was a huge one for me that I've been slowly understanding so this really gave me a kick. The way I like to do work is by doing. I believe actions and results speak louder than words and I also believe in direct, honest, and instantaneous (as much as possible) feedback. I believe in always growing and learning from your mistakes and thus I'm disappointed when people don't respond in the same way. From what I've learned here, really do not do this. Everyone is different and by placing (high) expectations on your managers/superiors like this, you're only setting yourself up for failure. Instead, realize everyone is a different human being and if you're lucky you might work with someone just like you (rare but possible), but most likely you won't. Instead, you gotta adapt to their style and work in a way that helps both of you. Your boss is not going to change and if you're career is important, your boss matters.

2) Have empathy
This relates to #1, but for those who are frustrated at work, realize it's bigger than you. Your boss has their boss and their own goals and expectations to be met. They're also human too. I think especially as new employee, it's easy to come in expecting x,y, and z because you're so excited about the work place. It's important to take a step back and realize there's so much more outside of you and what you want. Ultimately you are working for someone else and for a company, so realizing where these people come from and what their goals are is crucial in creating good relationships. This part takes patience and an open mind. Do not resist learning. My parents have told me to be 'soft' which I've never understood and thought was stupid 'til now (might have been the language translation), but what they mean is to be able to bend for others, not in the way you're being trampled over, but in the way you can understand people's perspectives better.

One of my favorite quotes that accurately summarizes the lessons from this book
"Your boss isn't going to wake up one day and announce, 'I think I will stop crushing the souls of my staff.' No. [the thing you dislike] can only be alleviated by your choices and behaviors, and it only lessens once your boss has confidence and trust in your ability to meet his or her needs."


if anyone sees me trying different things/acting different at work, this is why.
Profile Image for Vas Giatilis.
11 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2022
Covers all basics of managing up. I love management books that try to engineer intangible situations or conditions. The clustering of managers' types is very useful. I think it could go deeper with successful gradual trust building techniques. I recommend this book for a junior professional.
Profile Image for Grace Cao.
106 reviews4 followers
November 16, 2018
The gist is to manage the boss by his style. I do recognize the boss personalities rather clearly!

Your boss won’t change. Their personality got them where they are today; it’s approved by upper management. It’s up to you to adapt to him. Learn what is important to him and give it to him - even if you think it’s ridiculous.

Authenticity is a relational behavior. To be truly authentic you must not only be comfortable with who you are, but also comfortably connect with others from that space. The key is to bring the *best* of you wherever you go. It’s about *choosing* the behaviors that will allow your authentic self to successfully connect with other people.

To manage introvert boss:
1. Take the initiative to meet
2. Give them time to process and prepare
3. Keep them in the loop
4. Limit impromptu meetings
5. Embrace electronic communications
6. Don’t be a chatterbox
7. Seek an extrovert to “think out loud”
8. Be okay with silence
9. Think “what am I talking?”
10. Ask questions
11. Invest in relationship building. Be patient with their ability to disclose and their pace of sharing
12. Respect their space
13. Beware the innie-innie trap

To manage outtie boss:

1. Listen to them talk
2. Exhibit friendship
3. Don’t take everything as gospel since they like to think out loud
4. Clarify and recap
5. Speak up!
6. Get face time. Not just email. Need to talk.
7. Explain your silence. Tell you need time to process
8. Recharge when you can
9. Check in regularly and don’t ghost
10. Welcome brainstorming
11. Manage the outie-outie dynamic

Workplace personality:

Energizer: people focused. Don’t care much for formal roles and responsibilities. Prefer a flatter organizational structure and are generally very approachable. Likes to start a project but not the boring routine

Advancer: results over relationships. Fast. They work by continually moving the ball forward and they appreciate those who speed up the process. Seek traditional notions of success - power, status, and prosperity. Relationships and employee satisfaction not main motivation. Loves to compete and to win. Craves control. Hates hand-holding. When meeting with Advancers, be brief, be business-like, be gone. Avoid analysis paralysis. Bring solutions not problems. They are big-achievers, usually five steps ahead of you. It’s their project, not yours. Ask what he wants and get it done.

The harmonizer: people focused, slow. Empathetic, friendly and accommodating. Team cohesion matters more than individual recognition. Averse to conflict, cautious with change. You cannot depend on this boss for career advancement, may need to get an outside mentor.

The evaluator: the office is for work. Value precision and accuracy. Slow and cautious. Hates making mistakes and dont tolerate sloppy work in others. When an Evaluator implements a new process it is usually successful because he has exhaustively tested the idea for flaws. Some good ideas may get passed over for lack of data-driven support or slowness of response time. Calm, cool-headed, robotically objective. To manage Evaluator boss, avoid surprises, be prepared, raise your standard, focus on the facts, slow down, impress with detail, respect the process, manage your emotions, learn from criticism.

Difficult bosses:
1. Micromanager: emotionally insecure, driven by fear. You need to build trust.
2. Ghost: need to understand why he’s not there. Then step up, be a self-sufficient self-starter. Get on the calendar, build team relationship, take the opportunity to built your professional reputation as the go-to person. Clarify boundaries and expectations, cover your ass in case of failure. Keep communicating.
3. Narcissist: overblown ego. Insatiable need for praise, claim credit for himself, blame others when things go wrong, hostile to criticism or challenge to his authority, shameless self-promoter. No empathy. Has no problem manipulating, bullying or abusing his staff. Thriving under a narcissist is difficult, often the best is to survive until you get out. Back away from watercooler because other employees can betray you to please the boss.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heather.
20 reviews
April 2, 2018
Great read. Appreciated the practical wisdom, tips and real life stories. Not only a good resource for managing your manager, but also provided insights to become a better manager myself.
157 reviews1 follower
March 18, 2021
Not a bad book on how to work with and deal with upper management. Can be summed up as basics on how to deal with different types of personalities in the work environment. A couple tidbits were useful but most of it was common sense.
Profile Image for Anna.
323 reviews
October 3, 2020
3.5/5 stars

I felt like this was quite a bit better than other recent office/financial-help books. It actually gears its advice towards associates rather than leaders. There were some good nuggets of wisdom here; however, I still found it quite simplistic.
Profile Image for Syed Hassan.
68 reviews1 follower
July 16, 2018
Good book, short read. Helps clarify very clearly on why the need to change is with self and no point trying to play victim on why the manager is following a particular style.
Has good techniques to model behavior to match specific personalities and the last chapter with 50 points is a great reference.
Profile Image for Aaron Mikulsky.
Author 2 books20 followers
July 17, 2018
Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work and Succeed With Any Type of Boss, by Mary Abbajay is all about building real relationships with people who have influence over your career. Author Mary Abbajay helps you build the sort of relationships (bridge-building) that foster more communication, collaboration, cooperation and understanding between people at different levels of power, with a variety of perspectives and skills.
The number-one reason people quit their jobs is still because of their boss. Year after year, studies show that the most common reason people leave their employer is due to having a bad boss or having a bad relationship with their boss.
Could there really be so many bad bosses out there? Or is it that we just don’t know how to deal with difficult bosses? Could it be that we have failed to highlight and teach a far more important strategy –– how to manage those who manage us?
While there are thousands of books (and TED talks, conferences, YouTube videos, etc.) on how to lead and manage downward, there is very little out there on a far, far more important skill –– how to manage up. In other words, how to be a successful follower.
In America, we love-love-love leaders. We talk incessantly about leadership. We preach it, we teach it, we hit everyone over the head with it. We are obsessed with it. But in the real world, where most of us actually live and work, we need to know how to follow, too.
While we might resist the notion of being a follower, the truth is that the majority of us spend more of our working time following than leading. Even a CEO must be a follower, too. Everybody has a boss.
The real world of work requires close integration of leaders and followers. It requires cooperation and collaboration across hierarchies. It’s time for us to learn how to be empowered followers, to take an active role in managing our careers, ourselves, our bosses and our experience.
Treat your boss how he or she likes to be treated, not necessarily how you like to be treated.
Appreciate the opportunity and embrace the challenge; you will learn and grow more from a difficult boss than you ever will from a great or easy boss. The most important thing you will learn is what kind of leader you want to be when it is your turn.

50 reviews
June 2, 2018
Every so often I like to look for books at the 'job skills' section of the library. It can be pretty hot or miss. I once found an amazing books on running online training- but some other management books are often useless.
I found this book helpful- it basically classified people into different types and then helped you understand what it takes to work well with that personality type. Besides helping me see more clearly the personality type of my boss, it also helped me see my management style more clearly too and the types of interactions that work well for me.
When I read it, I felt like I would take something with me, but now that it is a few weeks later- I find it hard to remember what I thought I would do differently as a result. But I think the best part about it is just a re-framing of people's behaviours as part of their personality traits- and not judging them as innately good or bad- and recognizing that in order to work with people you need to figure out how to work well with lots of different personalities. You know- the old idea- you can't change other people, you can just change yourself.

Profile Image for Angela Woodward.
Author 12 books11 followers
April 22, 2022
Were such good, dutiful, educated folks born to grow up to work on a computer in an office, doing fairly abstract tasks, to the satisfaction or not of someone known as a boss? Abbajay makes clear that the white-collar worker has the option to fume and become embittered, or to "man up" by assessing the style of said boss and figuring out how to work with it. "Managing Up" makes a solo endeavor out of living in the whole rotten system. I longed for discussion of sexual harassment and the role racism and sexism play in the unpleasant office hierarchy. After going through all the nicknamed species of boss--the energizer, the nitpicker, the seagull, etc., Abbajay does settle down at last to the so-called truly terrible boss, who is beyond appeasing and must be fled from. This book is for peope who are sane, stable, and able to take rational actions in order to "succeed." The options of collective action are not considered. Nor is there any notion of freedom.
Profile Image for Dunori.
60 reviews4 followers
May 28, 2020
3.5 round up. I didn't technically want to read this... it was a work assignment to do so but once I got started, identifying with some of it's content kept me interested. When discussing it with my coworkers afterwards (today actually) it was nice to see a few of them connected with the book in similar ways that I did, particularly c/o undesirable past bosses, and I may not have known of this commonality if we didn't read the book together. It's possible that this may assist our relationships at work be a little better than it already is. The book however was a bit redundant in a few places as well as had some of the advice given in it be somewhat common sense in my opinion, thus not a higher score from me but I would still recommend it to entry level folks and anyone else who might be able to read & discuss it with a small group of their coworkers as I did.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
298 reviews10 followers
March 9, 2020
Managing Up is about dealing with different personalities of managers or bosses. I got this recommendation from Govloop . My favorite part of the book is the strategy recap at the end of each chapter. Mary Abbajay gives a good overview of each type of managers and gives you tips on dealing with each type including the narcissist. Your boss may be a combination of each of these just protect yourself. There is a golden shield as an employee. Know when to quit and how to quit. There are 50 ways to deal with your boss in the end. Very easy to read book and a good reference book. I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
January 17, 2020
Often times we are challenged with someone we report to that does not see eye to eye with us. This book allows for us to have control and navigate those relationships without feeling hopeless. The author does a great job of giving examples of numerous personality types and what to do to be successful when dealing with them. I work as a consultant, so the tips in here not only can be applied within my own corporate structure but as well with the business customers that I support. Managers should also read this book to identify how they too can better facilitate relationships.
Profile Image for Jess.
599 reviews4 followers
November 12, 2021
A colleague recommended this book after we had a series of new leaders start at the beginning of the year. I appreciated the concise advice on approaches for working with all different types of leadership styles.
Profile Image for Juanita Buitrago.
85 reviews31 followers
March 22, 2020
I saw Mary Abbajay speak at a conference last month, and we got to take the book home as part of the event. I think hearing her speak made me love this book even more. She is a dynamic, funny, and honest speaker. And I felt like I could hear her voice and energy while reading this book. Managing Up is relatable, practical, and helpful. I’m definitely going to pass this on somehow—maybe a training, roundtable, or series of discussion questions?
1 review
November 19, 2018
This is not your typical business/leadership book - in a good way! It is funny, easy to read, and has a ton of realistic approaches to improve your relationship with your boss. Abbajay helped me to recognize my own work style preferences and better adapt to my supervisor and co-workers. I'm still not crazy about my boss, but I'm now taking my role more seriously. Feeling empowered!
1 review
November 7, 2018
I first heard about Managing Up after reading an article in Harvard Business Review by the same author. So glad I bought this book - it has great tips for getting along with bosses and coworkers. Wish I read it earlier in my career!
3 reviews
February 18, 2020
This worked more like a reference manual for me. After I was able to identify my boss as a specific type of person with a specific set of values, the book helped me realize that I was never going anywhere at my company.
Profile Image for James.
628 reviews26 followers
June 15, 2019
Ah...it reads fast, but it also reads like astrology for the workplace in some ways. I don't feel like I got a lot out of reading this. Too basic and surface-y.

Overall, much better business/management books out there, even if not devoted to this exact topic.
Profile Image for Michael Wolcott.
292 reviews2 followers
October 7, 2021
Full of really useful ways to evaluate the situation with your boss and then immediate solutions for each “type”. Plus the end has tons of general tips that are more broadly applicable in a managing up situation. Wish I would have had this book earlier in my career.
Profile Image for Valerie.
250 reviews6 followers
November 3, 2021
I waited way too long to buy this. I felt seen by this book, and quite enjoyed the read. I am looking forward to testing out some of the techniques.
Profile Image for Sergey Dudko.
126 reviews1 follower
May 8, 2021
The main reason people are leaving company is relationships issues with leadership
The first most important step for upward management is to understand your boss' personality type: extravert or introvert
Extraverted boss strategies: 1. Listen to her 2. Demonstrate positive attitude 3. Filter what she says 4. Summarize 5. Speak up 6. Have face to face meetings 7. Explain silence (e.g., "Let me think...") 8. Energize yourself 9. Check in regularly 10. Conduct brainstorm 11. Avoid extravert / extravert trap when you spend too much time on communication about non work related matters
Common working styles: 1. Advancer 2. Energizer 3. Evaluator 4. Harmonizer
Energizer strategies: 1. Build relationships 2. Be fast 3. Stay positive 4. Plan and double check actions with her 5. Have face to face meetings 6. Pop up 7. Be creative 8. Praise her
Advancer strategies: 1. Be quick 2. Deliver solutions 3. Ask what, not how 4. Don't complain 5. Do your homework 6. Be confident 7. Don't challenge her authority 8. Oppose with caution 9. Get the work done
Harmonizer strategies: 1. Focus on team 2. Keep emotions stable 3. Promote safety 4. Show her the way 5. Be slow 6. Reward yourself (as she will be inclined to reward the team rather than individuals) 7. Find mentor
Evaluator strategies: 1. Avoid surprises 2. Be prepared 3. Raise your standards 4. Know facts and details 5. Be slow 6. Respect process 7. Control emotions 8. Learn from her feedback
Difficult bosses: micromanager, ghost, narciss, pushover, impulsive, friend, workaholic, incompetent, terrible
Micromanager strategies: 1. Anticipate questions 2. Establish trust 3. Ask for feedback 4. Deliver high quality work 5. Summarize 6. Analyse best practices from other people 7. Allow time to establish trust
Ghost strategies: 1. Be self starter 2. Be proactive in scheduling check in meetings 3. Establish team relationships 4. Become a go to person 5. Find mentor
Narciss strategies: 1. Accept 2. Praise 3. Don't gossip 4. Learn from her 5. Appeal to her image when suggesting actions 6. Stay emotionally neutral 7. Don't allow her to manipulate you
Impulsive strategies: 1. Redirect her energy in a constructive way 2. Stay calm and carry on 3. Be open minded: maybe she is right 4. Reflect her style 5. Check in and summarize with her 6. Identify patterns of her behavior
Pushover strategies: 1. Learn her rationale 2. Encourage her 3. Make her see your progress 4. Make her look good 5. Cautiously jump over her had
Friend strategies: 1. Establish boundaries 2. Show that you are busy for just friendly non work related meetings 3. Invite others 4. Avoid personal social networks 5. Ask for feedback
Workaholic strategies: 1. Understand the context: is it driven by company culture or something else? 2. Get the work done 3. Focus on productivity 4. Ask her to guide and teach you
Incompetent strategies: 1. Show empathy 2. Find strengths in incompetent leader and use them for team advantage 3. Compensate for her weaknesses 4. Show her the way
Neat picker strategies: learn and adopt her style
Seagull strategies: 1. Identify patterns 2. Communication proactively
Profile Image for Harry Harman.
610 reviews13 followers
December 6, 2021
It's best to think of introversion and extroversion as a continuum, meaning that everybody has a little of both and nobody is 100 percent of anything all the time.

And some people are smack dab in the middle. (We call these people “ambiverts.”)

introverts working together run the risk of behaving like two ships sailing past each other in the night.

he couldn't get a word in edgewise

“Hey Debbie, I think we've strayed. You/we/I were talking about X. Is it okay if we go back to that? I still have some questions/thoughts …”

Advancers are highly focused on task, achieving results, and taking action. They are usually less concerned with building warm and fuzzy relationships. They are often perceived as confident, work oriented, efficient, and demanding. They can also be seen as dominating, harsh, and cold. They are direct in their communication, sometimes even brusque. They are goal oriented and can be impatient with others who cannot keep up or take too long to make decisions or take action. They are fast decision makers and pragmatic in their approach. They seek control of their environments and are energized by overcoming obstacles, winning, and accomplishing goals. For the Advancer, everything is about advancing task and getting results as efficiently and quickly as possible. Advancers respect competency, action, and results. And they love to be in charge.

- Confident and assertive in their opinions and decisions.

- Strong willed and emotionally controlled. Decisive and pragmatic.

- Makes quick decisions based on available and relevant data.

- Fast acting and quick to move from planning to action (abhors analysis paralysis).

- Straightforward, to the point, and direct in communication.

- Takes risk and seeks challenges.

- Dislikes inaction, indecision, and inefficiency.


- Fast paced and energetic.

- Focuses on people and relationships.

- Outgoing and enthusiastic and usually interacts well with others at work.

- Good at persuading and motivating others.

- Fears being ignored or rejected.

- Likes to be acknowledged publicly and often seeks the spotlight.

- Achieves goals when motivated, challenged, and excited.

- Likes involvement and dislikes being alone.

- Creative and future focused, always thinking about a new way.

- Wants others to be excited about his or her ideas and loves to “sell” the latest idea to others.

- When stressed may get sarcastic and unkind.


- Seeks perfection, quality, and accuracy in everything; if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

- Seeks minimum risk through maximum information.

- Needs things done right and may overthink things.

- Prone to analysis paralysis.

- Steadfast, deliberate, and unemotional.

- Likes, promotes, and adheres to systematic approaches, structures, and processes.

- Values correctness, accuracy, stability, and predictable outcomes.

- Good at objective evaluation and problem solving.

- Avoids group work, preferring to work alone.

- When stressed may withdraw or become headstrong.
Profile Image for MB Hanna.
6 reviews
May 1, 2023
Bio: In one word: powerhouse. In more words: Abbajay can read the research and tie it all together based on her education (Master’s Organizational Management), career (President of Careerstone, LLC (www.careerstonegroup.com, educator at George Mason University, Montgomery College, and Georgetown University), and social media presence on tv, radio, and in print publications (her bestseller, Managing Up, articles in New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, etc.).

Where I purchased it: Amazon

Why I bought it: In my leadership courses with frontline leaders (usually people on the manufacturing floor), I’ve encountered many who became line leaders, shift leaders, department leaders because they were able to “do their job.” That is, come to work on-time, meet or exceed quotas, be a team player, work overtime without complaint, and take limited time off. The “exemplary” employee becomes the leader, to stand as a beacon for all other employees. Unfortunately, this does not mean the employee is ready to lead or influence others, and particularly not ready to manage the people they’ll encounter in management meetings who work at higher levels. I wanted to find information that I could pass along to people, especially new leaders and younger employees.

Synopsis: Abbajay has a very friendly, conversational writing style. Similar to Sharot’s book reviewed last week (The Influential Mind), Abbajay is able to synthesize research and experience into a meeting-with-your-mentor-for-a-cuppa kind of read. She uses the term “boss” so that’s what we’ll use here. The book begins with answering your objections to “managing up,” what some might call “brown-nosing.” Abbajay warns that “your boss is not going to change,” and our careers (and emotional/mental health) matter. The book is designed to help readers understand what drives their boss and how the reader can meet their needs without losing their minds.
Abbajay gets right to the point by sorting bosses into groups, beginning with “Outtie” and “Innie” (extroverts and introverts), then different workplace styles. She provides an assessment for your boss (and you) so you can quickly turn to read about bosses like The Energizer, The Evaluator, and probably the most thumbed-through chapters: The Micromanager, The Narcissist, and The Incompetent. Abbajay wraps up with The Truly Terrible - Psycho Crazy Bully Tyrannical Screaming Egomaniacs which is a pleasure for anyone to read.
Each chapter outlines motivators for the boss and lists Proven Strategies to Manage Up for that boss type. The end of the book gives us a pep talk (It’s Okay to Quit) and leaves us with Bonus Tips: 50 Ways to Manage Your Manager.

Favorite quote(s): Abbajay uses the Platinum Rule as the foundation for her book. “The key objective of the workstyle personality concept is to understand your own style, identify and understand the style of your boss, and then adapt so that you can interact with your boss the way he or she prefers.”

Great insights: If you bristle at the above quote, be sure to read Chapter 1: Stop Complaining and Start Winning - Managing Up Is the Key to Your Success.

Meh?: I’ve come to the place in my career where I’m not really climbing anymore, and I am starting to report to people ten or twenty years my junior. I’d like to hear some advice about managing up when the boss is my junior by many years of age and experience.

Overall review: A must read, specifically to learn about your own workstyle and preferences, and how you impact the boss-employee relationship.

Relevant Social Media:
https://www.youtube.com/@maryabbajay (YouTube channel)
Mary Abbajay Keynote
Profile Image for Kristin.
1,240 reviews3 followers
February 26, 2020
Read this title for an online book group I joined. I did not read it word for word but dipped into chapters which would help me the most. Yes, it did help. Now to put some of these ideas into action.

p. 7 (part of the "Objections to this book" section
The key here is to bring the best of who you are everywhere you go. It's about choosing the behaviors that will allow your authentic self to successfully connect with other people. So, I save my f-bombs for friends who will appreciate them. I do my best to suppress my annoyance and impatience in public. And I try really had to speak slowly enough for audiences who for some reason can't seem to understand my rapid speech. Being authentic does not mean you have to follow your every impulse or express every thought. It's about being in full choice about your actions.

Let's be clear: this book is not about being a patsy. This book is about making choices that will enable you to thrive in the workplace. never do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical. Whatever you decide to do, you must choose it.

p. 40 Of the four common workstyle personalities, I'd say my current boss is a blend of The Advancer & The Energizer.

p. 83+ Overarching perspectives about dealing with difficult bosses:
* appreciate the opportunity, embrace the challenge
* Identify the difficult behavior
* Assume positive intent (the best you can)
* Own your rub
* Seek to understand
* Decide what you can live with

p. 88+ Proven strategies to manage up the micromanager
1. Do not resist
2. Stay one step ahead
3. Develop trust
4. Keep your boss (overly) informed
5. Important stuff first
6. Seek feedback and do't take it personally
7. Deliver high-quality work every time
8. Ask & recap
9. Learn & pay attention to their concerns.
10. Look inside
11. Look around
12. Give it time

p. 104+ (recording this one for a variety of purposes)
Signs of a narcissist
1. Overblown ego
2. Power trippers
3. Insatiable need for praise
4. Credit claimers
5. Blames & shames
6. Hostile to criticism
7. Shameless self-promoters
8. Empathy? No. Exploitive? Yes.
9. Scene stealers
10. Ethical ambiguity

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