Book Summary: Managing Up by Mary Abbajay

Managing Up by Mary Abbajay Book Cover

Managing Up is a book written by Mary Abbajay that focuses on teaching readers how to effectively manage their bosses and superiors in the workplace. The book provides practical advice and strategies for building positive relationships with those in authority, and how to communicate effectively to achieve desired outcomes. In this summary, we will provide an overview of the book’s key ideas and themes, and summarize each chapter in detail.

Chapter 1: The Importance of Managing Up

The first chapter of Managing Up introduces the concept of managing up, and explains why it is an essential skill for anyone looking to succeed in their career. Abbajay argues that managing up is not about sucking up to your boss, but rather about building a positive and productive relationship that benefits both parties. She provides several examples of how managing up can lead to increased job satisfaction, better performance reviews, and even promotions.

Chapter 2: Understanding Your Boss

In this chapter, Abbajay explains the importance of understanding your boss’s personality, communication style, and management preferences. She provides several tools for assessing your boss’s style, including a quiz that helps readers identify their own management preferences. Abbajay also provides tips for adapting your communication style to match your boss’s preferences, and for building trust and credibility with your superiors.

Chapter 3: Setting Expectations

This chapter focuses on setting clear expectations with your boss, both in terms of your job responsibilities and your performance. Abbajay provides several strategies for setting expectations, including creating a written job description, scheduling regular check-ins with your boss, and providing regular updates on your progress. She also provides tips for managing your boss’s expectations, including being proactive in communicating your needs and concerns.

Chapter 4: Communicating Effectively

Effective communication is key to managing up, and in this chapter, Abbajay provides several tips for communicating with your boss in a way that is clear, concise, and effective. She emphasizes the importance of active listening, and provides several strategies for ensuring that your message is understood. Abbajay also provides tips for delivering difficult news to your boss, and for handling feedback and criticism in a constructive manner.

Chapter 5: Building a Positive Relationship

In this chapter, Abbajay provides several strategies for building a positive relationship with your boss, including showing appreciation for their work, providing support and assistance when needed, and taking the time to get to know them on a personal level. She also provides tips for managing conflicts and difficult situations, and for maintaining a positive attitude even in challenging circumstances.

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Chapter 6: Managing Up in Different Situations

This chapter provides strategies for managing up in a variety of different situations, including working with a difficult boss, managing multiple bosses, and working in a virtual environment. Abbajay also provides tips for managing up in times of change or uncertainty, and for building a network of support within your organization.


Overall, Managing Up is a practical and useful guide for anyone looking to build positive relationships with their superiors in the workplace. Throughout the book, Abbajay provides concrete strategies and tools for managing up effectively, and emphasizes the importance of building trust, credibility, and a positive reputation in the workplace. Whether you are looking to improve your performance reviews, gain recognition for your work, or advance your career, Managing Up provides the tools and strategies you need to succeed.

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