Thursday, September 30, 2010

Managing up: even your boss likes the idea

My apologies for the lack of posts--between traveling, a doubling of my workload, and internet problems at home (from whence I write my posts), I haven't been able to rub two brain cells together to make a coherent post. However, I did want to pass on some good news from the mentoring front. I recently gave a guest lecture/seminar/discussion for the AIA East Tennessee chapter, and the roomfull of partners, firm VPs, and project managers showed me that there are some folks out there who are actually concerned with how well we train and mentor the future of our profession.

There were a lot of great comments and discussion during the seminar, due in no small part to the interns and college students who were also present. I wanted to share one comment here briefly as a helpful pointer in managing your boss:

At one point in the seminar, I asked the crowd how they would respond to an intern if it was 5pm and the manager still wasn't done with something they wanted the intern to plot for them. One of the firm partners in the crowd piped up, "You know, it's really all about communication. Interns should understand that it's okay for them to come up to us before that 5pm deadline and ask how it's going or say 'hey, it's 3 o'clock already, are you going to be ready soon' or whatever. And they can ask about the deadline, ask if it's okay to come in at 6am instead of wait around until I'm done at 6pm."

Essentially, this firm owner said that it was okay for interns to manage their bosses, to manage up. It's helpful for everyone in a firm--interns all the way up to partners-- to be reminded occasionally of a deadline or checked up on. The entire team has to be accountable to each other, in both directions, and knowing that you can check up on your boss to make sure that his/her work is on time and provides the information you need is pretty motivating...and probably a relief when you're at the bottom of the pecking order.

No comments:

Post a Comment