Faculty Mentoring Program

Ask a Mentor: Manage Up

Mitchell D. Feldman

Do you have a mentoring question that you need answered? Each month we will select a question and feature it on our website with advice from a mentor.

Submit your question here.

This month’s Ask a Mentor.


To make the most of meetings with mentors, my career mentor has suggested I "manage up". I've heard other people mention that too. What does "manage up" mean exactly?


Thanks for your great question! Managing up is a very useful skill both in your mentoring relationships and in relationships you have with your own supervisors. Essentially, it refers to you taking some ownership of the relationship, and directing it, at least to some degree. Specifically, it can be very helpful to you to let the mentor know what you need. Ultimately, doing so can make it easier for a mentor to help a mentee, and that in turn, helps the mentorship relationship to be more satisfying and successful for both of you. So, think about your needs and what would be helpful to you prior to each meeting with your mentor; a little preparation can go a very long way!

Ellen Haller, MD
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Director, General Adult Residency Training Program
UCSF Department of Psychiatry