2 min read

work shenanigans

key piece of negotiating:

  • listen to the other parties and their needs first. listening is the concession in a negotiation you can always make. summarize what they said back to them to see if they got it. listen for 25 mins, only talk if needed for the last 5.

key piece of having technically complex discussions:

  • always write a document in preparation. sometimes, bring the document. this makes you far more effective during the meeting cuz you've thought everything through.
  • take notes during the meeting and share your screen. take the time to write down what everyone says in a Google doc (stickies on digital whiteboards are hard to follow). if it's a complex discussion, this is how you can make sure everyone is on the same page. also once people say something, repeat back what you wrote to make sure you got it right.
  • minimize the audience size. <=4 people.
  • don't leave the meeting without a conclusion(s) written down that everyone agrees on. even if you have to keep people from their lunch lol.
  • avoid meetings too late in the day. even if you zone out for one sentence every five minutes, that's enough to make the meeting a lot more challenging to run effectively. relatedly, make sure you're not hungry during meetings.
  • sometimes it is useful to have an information gathering meeting, then the key decision making meeting. the former helps you prep for the former.

key piece of stakeholder management:

  • don't make decisions when key stakeholders are OOO. sometimes they are really passionate and will overturn it when they get back lol. which is the appropriate thing for them to do.

on stubbornness:

  • it takes two people to be stubborn. no one can be stubborn in isolation lol. maybe im being stubborn.

on not sending the letter.

  • if you're typing a really long reply to a heated slack thread, ask yourself, do i really need to send this reply? abraham lincoln was a god and didn't send that one angry letter when his direct report ignored his orders

on not self blaming

  • people disagree at work. that's normal. you can't predict all the disagreements. and you can't resolve all of them perfectly/immediately. for some reason i expect myself to be this god tier PM that can. maybe i can to some extent when im more senior.

man it's easy to read these words on a screen, but it's another thing to live it in practice. found this stuff a lot easier said than done.

honestly i'm embarrassed by this whole experience. every bullet here, i made the mistake before figuring it out. but i accept that. i am imperfect, but growing and getting better.