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Managing Up (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series) by Harvard Business Review

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Managing Expectations

Setting clear expectations is essential to building a productive relationship with anyone, and your boss is no exception. Though it’s a two-way street, give your manager’s priorities top consideration—after all, she’s in charge. Identify what she wants from you and do your best to deliver it.

Know what your manager expects

Your boss will want you to fulfill your key responsibilities, meet her standards for performance, and achieve objective measures of success. But you can’t do any of that until you understand how she defines those responsibilities and standards and which metrics she’ll use to gauge your progress.

Ask her to describe what she’s looking for in your work. If she doesn’t articulate her expectations clearly, ...

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