LocLife™ recap: Relationships are the key to managing up

What does it take to be the most effective employee you can be, while creating value for your boss and for your company? During the first LocLife™ episode of 2023, Master the art of managing up, we learned it has a lot to do with your approach to being managed. 

From honing your communication style to expanding your influence within your organization and further developing your leadership skills, a wealth of knowledge was shared by a stellar panel of experts, including:

  • Chris Dell, senior director, content at Booking.com
  • Eva Klaudinyova, senior globalization expert at Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • Jose Palomares, director, localization at Coupa Software
  • Lupe Gervás, globalization and localization expert 

If you missed the live event or want to rewatch it, the on-demand LocLife™ session is available right here:

Memorable moments

LocLife host and Acclaro brand champion Javi Diaz kicked off the discussion by asking what the most common challenges are when it comes to managing up. Eva Klaudinyova started with what she called the absolute basics – knowing the players.

“Most people think that managing up is just about managing your immediate boss, but there are actually a lot of people above you that we, as localizers, have to deal with,” she explained. “We don’t just have the headquarters’ hierarchy to deal with, we also have geographical stakeholders, and each one of them has their own drivers, priorities, working styles and communication styles. You need to be very culturally savvy and have a high level of emotional intelligence to be able to switch from person to person.”

When discussing tools for relationship-building, the conversation turned to introverts and how to connect. “I’m introverted, and that’s not an excuse,” Eva shared. “We have to make ourselves get out of our shells, but get enough time to recharge, because otherwise it’s too much for us.”

Jose Palomares added “If your boss is an introvert – and that happens a lot – don’t tackle them in the middle of a group. Don’t force a conversation in front of others. Tell them when you would like to meet so they can prepare for it and perform well. Just try not to surprise them.”

The panel was also asked about managing up in a remote or hybrid work world, to which Chris Dell noted, “If your manager is effective and dedicated, it shouldn’t matter whether it’s virtual or not. We still build bridges and communication. If you have a remote manager, a lot of what you’re doing isn’t seen, and therefore isn’t valued. Think about sending updates more regularly, so they’re really on top of what’s happening.”

As localization professionals, it’s also important to know how to manage up in with a multicultural and multigenerational workforce.

“When I was working at Facebook, everybody was like 15 and 20 years younger than I was,” Lupe Gervás said. “It was a bizarre situation, and I realized how different that generation actually works and communicates. So, it was me, the manager, who had to learn how to understand and recognize the flow of differences between the generations.”

In closing out the episode, each panelist shared some tips.

“When someone from my team comes along and says, ‘Hey, how can I help you? How can I make your life easier?’ It’s a really powerful question that I personally love to get,” Chris Dell shared. “That’s a very touching thing to hear, and trust me, if I’m under pressure, I’m never going to say no.”

Lupe Gervás added, “Get along, embrace personalities, share with others, and be empathetic as much as you can.”

“Build your brand. Be recognized by everyone around you, and especially your bosses and their bosses, as someone who can deliver results,” Jose Palomares urged.

“Go into a situation, into a conversation, into a relationship with an open mind, without any preconceptions, without any prejudice,” Eva Klaudinyova said. “You will be a better person and a better collaborator.”

Join us over at LocLife™ Community to engage with other LocLifers about this week’s topic, and stay tuned for our next LocLife™ event.

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