Managing upwards

Resolving a difficult relationship at work between a Senior Manager and his Director, who was based 200 miles away

Managing upwards

Posted by Dianne Lowther on

The challenge

George (not his real name) was a Senior Manager within a manufacturing and distribution business. He had overall responsibility for a site where some 500 people were employed and reported to a Director some 200 miles away. He came to me because his relationship with his boss was 'difficult' and he had been unable to sort it out.

The effect

George was keen to resolve this problem because it meant that he had failed to secure the buy-in of his boss for several of his plans. He felt that he was losing credibility with his team and that his overall reputation in the business was suffering. As a consequence, he realised he was becoming impatient and irritable, which of course only made the situation worse.


Over a series of four coaching sessions we worked through a programme of communications skills, identifying patterns in both George’s communications and his boss’s. George learned some simple strategies for creating professional rapport and for adapting his communication style to facilitate meaningful dialogue with his boss.


He was astounded by the results, because the skills he learned were completely transferable and helped him enhance communications in all aspects of his work. (I also helped him to give up smoking)

Dianne Lowther
Dianne Lowther

nlp for business, nlp for work, executive NLP, people skills for IT Professionals