Managing Up

What Is Managing Up?

Managing up is a communication tool that positions others in a positive light. You can manage up by making positive statements that build confidence. There are several ways to manage up. You can manage up your boss, you can manage up your staff, manage up yourself and your skill set, you can manage up your coworkers, other departments, and physicians to drive patient satisfaction.


Managing up a co-worker: “My shift will be over shortly, but Mary will be taking over your care. She is a very experienced nurse and will take wonderful care of you."

Managing up a co-worker: “Although we do not provide that service out of this department, Cheryl has does this kind of work a great deal and has had great results.”

Managing up a physician: “Dr. Jones will be here in a few minutes. He has an excellent track record here at Vanderbilt and I’m sure you’ll find him helpful and compassionate.”

Managing up other department: “We’ll be taking you down to Radiology soon for your test. They are a great team down there, and will take excellent care of you.”

Managing up other department: “Have you talked with Information Technology about getting access to that application? They are very experienced and will be able to walk you through how to log on successfully.”

Advantages to Managing Up:

  • Builds confidence
  • Reduces patient anxiety
  • Fosters staff satisfaction
  • Improves compliance, clinical outcomes, and patient satisfaction
  • Allows patients to feel more confident in and connected to their next caregiver and other hospital staff
  • Builds trust amongst staff
  • Gives other staff a head start in building a positive relationships with the patient
  • Eases transition of care from one caregiver to another
  • Demonstrates a coordination of care between staff, physicians, and other departments
  • Creates a more positive environment for both caregivers and patients
  • Inspires gratitude from others whom you have managed up