If you want to be a successful pharma manager, you must develop trusting relationships with those around you. Here are four keys to reaching that goal.
Any successful pharma product manager knows that you get things done with the help of other people. So if you want to meet your goals this year, here are four keys for developing trusting relationships with the people around you who will ultimately be important to your success.
1. Help them feel good about themselves.
The old story about the candle is true. If you use the flame of a lit candle to light someone else’s candle, your candle still burns as bright as it did before you gave away some of its light—and now the other person’s candle also glows. If you light several candles, you will have a very bright place. Helping people feel good about themselves is like lighting a candle. You feel at least as good about yourself as you did before—probably better. And the people you helped are in a better position to succeed and to help you succeed. To build relationships, you must seize every opportunity to enhance the other person’s feelings of self-worth.
2. Be a good listener.
Listening is difficult—especially when we disagree with what a person is saying. All too often, we get caught up in forming our rebuttal instead of really trying to understand what a person is saying. Do your best to avoid that trap. You can learn all kinds of things by listening—especially what’s going on in your organization. Listening will help you stop crises before they get started. Listen to the people around you, listen for more than just the facts, and listen for the emotions behind the facts. Listen the hardest when you hear something with which you don’t agree. Those conversations have the most possibilities for creativity.
3. Put yourself in other people’s shoes.
Work hard at understanding other people and their points of view. Spend time getting to know people as unique, individual human beings—not just interchangeable parts. Develop empathy. You won’t always share common experiences with other people, so you need to understand their experiences and adjust your behavior to deal with them. You need to be able to walk a mile in their shoes if you’re going to have productive conversations.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Four of the most powerful words in the English language are “I need your help.” Asking for help is a great start to a productive conversation. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness. Effective conversationalists realize two things: a) They don’t have all of the answers, and b) They benefit in the long run from asking for help from the people around them. By asking for people’s input and help, you gain the cooperation you need to get things done. Besides that, you demonstrate that you value their opinions and you’re likely to end up with a better solution than you would by proceeding on your own with no input. People support solutions that they feel they had a say in developing.