How do PMs extend trust in stakeholder collaboration?
Last time, we discussed what the product team—and especially the PM—need to do to earn trust with the rest of the business, and especially with key stakeholders. This is all in support of the autonomy that product teams want (and need) to invent solutions that will delight customers and work for the business.
But trust is both earned and extended. So, what behaviors do PMs need to do to extend trust to their stakeholders?
To extend trust, PMs should...
(1) Bring stakeholders into creative/thinking process. Be vulnerable by sharing ideas and perspectives that stakeholders may disagree with.
(2) Share your thought process. Don't make it about opinions, make it about good thinking.
(3) When there is a disagreement, approach it with a "let's find out" mindset rather than right/wrong. Find out what's true, not who is true.
(4) Trust that stakeholders have good reasons—and intent—when they push back.
(5) Acknowledge when stakeholders make great points, and give them credit for ideas/inputs/collaboration that they generate.
All of these are simple, but not easy.
Tomorrow, we'll look at how leaders and stakeholders need to earn trust in their exchange.
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