How to Become Insanely Well-Connected - Deepstash
Leading in Product Management

Learn more about communication with this collection

How to align stakeholders

Best practices in product management leadership

How to create value together

Leading in Product Management

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Convey genuine appreciation

Actively project warmth and high energy. People like you when they feel liked by you.

To make it clear you’re interested in the other person, think about what they know that you don’t. What do you actually want to learn in the interaction? Focus on that so that they can walk away knowing they added value too.

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Listen with intent

Being a good listener is about two things: 

  1. Demonstrating that you’ve heard exactly what was said by the other person.
  2. Encouraging them to continue. This breaks down into what’s called “backchanneling” — offering short, enthusiastic responses as the other person talks (i.e. “yeah” “mm-hmm” “totally” “I can see that”), and asking follow up questions that reference the information you were just given.

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Use humility markers

Acknowledging your own fallibility and human imperfection can go a long way toward making yourself relatable. Especially if there’s a power dynamic where someone is asking for your advice, attention or help, you want to put the other person at ease.

Taking the time to call or meet in person also expresses humility.

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Offer unvarnished honesty

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t share what they truly think in professional situations.

Just remember to root your honesty in what will actually have utility for the other party. This will set a good tone for all future conversations.

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Blue-sky brainstorm

Maybe you can’t provide what someone is looking for. But, if you can change the angle or way they’re thinking about something by openly brainstorming with them, you make them feel like they got something special and unexpected. 

It’s key that you’re brainstorming with them, not for them.

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Ending on a positive note

End every meeting or conversation with the feeling and optimism you’d like to have at the start of your next conversation with the person.

Assume you’re going to run into everyone again.

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Prepare in advance

If you want to connect with someone professionally to move your goals forward, you need to know exactly why you care about that person or their company. And you need to know how to articulate it succinctly. 

If you know you’re headed into a call or event and want to make a good impression on certain people, create mini dossiers for them.

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