Session 5

Becoming an effective advocate for your team

March 15, 17:00 - 19:30 GMT
10am–12.30pm PDT / 1–3.30pm EDT / 5–7.30pm GMT / 6–8.30pm CET

March 16, 13:00 - 15:30 GMT
6–8.30am PDT / 9–11.30am EDT / 1–3.30pm GMT / 2–4.30pm CET

See session details

Meet our session contributors

HOST

Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach

Help Scout

Co-HOST

David Yee

Executive Director of Engineering

The New York Times

TUTOR

Neha Batra

Senior Director of Engineering

GitHub

TUTOR

Lara Hogan

Founder

Wherewithall

Meet our session contributors

Session overview

Managing up is often seen as something done just by individuals. But as an engineering leader, you are the face of your team’s work, and it is your responsibility to manage up and make sure it's visible at the organisational level. And you can't assume that your manager has the visibility into your team or your team's work, and to shape the direction, you need to be able to shift their point of view.  

 

Mastering the skill of managing up and influencing can be challenging to navigate. In this session, we'll help you work out how to get the message out.  

You'll leave this session with:

Guidelines about what not to do when managing up and influencing 

Tools to enter into a better (more effective) relationship with your manager

Practical strategies to increase your impact with your own projects and  team’s visibility 

Knowledge around how to manage when you’re being managed up 

Talk

Unravelling the misconceptions of managing up

Although the term is used so often, managing up means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In the popular imaginary, managing up is now taken to mean 'how can I get ahead?' Although the term is used so often, managing up means a lot of different things to many different people. Studies have shown that when men are thinking about managing up, they're thinking of personal interest - and when women think of managing up, they're thinking about their teams. 

 

The truth is, successful managing up requires both of these skills - sometimes you need to go to bat for yourself, and you'll need to go to bat for your team. This talk will outline why you need to manage up and when to deploy the skill effectively. 

Neha Batra

Senior Director of Engineering

GitHub

Neha Batra is a Director of Engineering at GitHub, where she leads the Communities Department that focuses on tools for open source communities like Discussions, Sponsors, and Interaction Limits. Her passion lies in making the tech industry easier and more inclusive to work in, which is why she focuses her talks and blogs on action-oriented tips and tricks, like Facilitation 202, Microallyship, and Managing your Mentorship. She holds a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and enjoys foodie adventures, planning trips, and collecting national park magnets. If you want to hear her ramble on a topic, ask her about pair programming, her adventures as a manager or consultant, or how much she misses Miami and its cafecitos.

@nerdneha

Talk

Adapting your managing up tactics to different personalities

No two managers are alike. Every senior leader you interact with will bring their own experience, set of biases, communication styles - and fundamentally, different personalities to a conversation. They’ll have different focuses and different goals. And if no two managers are alike, no two managing up conversations will be alike either. 

 

In this talk, we’ll explore how to adapt your tactics to different management techniques. We’ll look at how managing up differs at the intersection of varying management styles and provide you with techniques to adapt your style to different situations.

Lara Hogan

Founder 

Wherewithall

Lara is an author, public speaker, and coach for managers and leaders across the tech industry. As a founder of Wherewithall, Lara and her team run workshops, roundtables, and trainings on core management skills like delivering great feedback and setting clear expectations.

Before Wherewithall, Lara spent a decade growing emerging leaders as the VP of Engineering at Kickstarter and an Engineering Director at Etsy. She champions management as a practice, building fast websites, and celebrating your achievements with donuts (and sometimes sushi).

Her latest book, Resilient Management, is here to help those who find themselves responsible for supporting a team of people.

Talk

And oh, how the managing up tables have turned

We've identified how you can manage up to more senior leaders in the talks so far, but wait. Aren't you a leader now? If you’re attending LeadDev Together, you probably are (or will be stepping into those shoes in the near future) - and you know what that means. In all likelihood, now your ICs are managing up - and the person they’re managing up to is you. 

 

So how do you manage when you’re being managed up? And how do you show that you’re listening, understanding a problem, and eager to make a change? In this talk, we’ll outline how to deal with being on the receiving end of managing up, and how to create a constructive two-way relationship. 

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