Managing Up Remotely, with Talane Miedaner (F’87, MA’89)

Talane Miedaner (F’87, MA’89), is the author of the internationally best-selling book Coach Yourself to Success: 101 Tips to Accomplish your Personal and Professional Goals, along with The Secret Laws of Attraction, and Coach Yourself to a New Career. She is also the creator of the Career Change Coaching Kit, and is the owner and founder of LifeCoach.

How Can We Manage Up While Working Virtually?

One of the oldest pieces of advice that is as relevant today as ever is: “Never surprise your boss.” Now more than ever, it is critical that you have a regular weekly check-in to update your boss on your progress, ask questions and discuss any issues or problems as they arise. Your manager won’t be able to see you toiling away at your desk if you are working remotely from home, so you’ll need to agree on what you will accomplish and how long that will take. In most professional roles, you should be evaluated based on your results, not on the number of hours worked. Agree on milestones and targets to accomplish weekly and work to those.

Regular weekly communication is the key to keep your manager informed, course correct if you are heading off in the wrong direction, and nip any issues in the bud before they become problems. Some managers prefer to have a phone meeting, some a video conference, others may prefer a written update. Make your boss happy by keeping her informed in a way that works for her. But if you have a complex issue that needs hashing out by phone or video conference, then make sure you get that booked in.

Come prepared with an agenda for every meeting, even if it is a few bullet points. As a general rule of thumb, you should never attend any meeting without an agenda. Send this agenda to your boss so he or she can add items they want to discuss to the meeting as well. This will enable you to quickly address the most important topics first.

If you run into complications or problems, don’t wait a week to tell your boss. It is best to let your boss know if something is going to take longer than you had anticipated and why. Come prepared with a plan on how you might resolve the issue and ask your manager for his or her advice.

Regular communication with your manager is often the simplest and easiest way to do a great job and get the recognition you deserve at work.

Stay tuned for more tips and insights into how to create a productive and healthy working relationship with your boss from master life coach Talane Miedaner (F’87, MA’89). Check out Talane’s Career Change Kit for insights into your working style, and how to be your best professional self.

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