How to Build a Good Relationship with Your Manager

“Managing up” involves taking a proactive approach to the relationship to ensure that you get what you
need to succeed and the organization moves forward most effectively.

 
1. Understand your manager. Learn what is important to your manager, including their preferences and

expectations. Observe and ask questions to uncover this information.


2. Make his/her job easier.
 Don’t make more work for your manager, such as creating re-work or workplace
drama "looking for job". Do what you can to proactively offer assistance or ease their burden.
 

 
3. Align with priorities. Connect the dots to show specifically how your work advances the

organization’s priorities. If you’re unsure of the priorities, find out.
 


4. Demonstrate your value. Reliably deliver what is expected from your role, focus on the highest priority work.

Ensure that your contribution to the organization exceeds your cost. Regularly reflect on how you can enhance

your value and improve your performance.

 

 
5. Thank your manager when they provide you with resources or suggestions. 


6. Practice regular, proactive communication geared to the level of detail your manager prefers.
 Include

suggested solutions to address issues you raise whenever possible.

 7. 
Address issues directly to avoid going up a level without first discussing with your manager. If there
are illegal activities, substance abuse or mental illness, you may need to “go over their head” immediately, but
such circumstances should be very rare.

 















 


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