Back to resources

Building Remote Connections

Meetings
Internal Communication
Motivation

14 May, 2019

Ying Liu
Ying Liu

Director of Engineering at Lyft

Ying Liu, director of engineering at Lyft, shares quick tips on improving communication and establishing relationships with teammates when working remotely.

Problem

Communication is the basis for creating meaningful connections. This concept, however, can be difficult to materialize due to timidness, fear of being wrong, and/or feelings of inferiority when speaking with subject matter experts.

Actions taken

  • Practice active listening.
  • Establish individual and personalized connections.
  • While it's difficult to arrange remotely, try to spend some in-person time together where you talk about something other than work and possibly develop a common interest. Do this in a comfortable setting where you can grab lunch or even a beer.
  • Leave gap room in meetings for people to respond, looking around the room as a signal that the conversation is open to others.
  • Choose someone you are comfortable with and expose your vulnerabilities to them by asking for help with a concept, extra eye on something you are working on, or even admitting that you need some help working on your communication.

Lessons learned

  • Active listening breaks down the insecurities someone may have of feeling inferior to the person they are talking to based on skill level.
  • Developing a relationship outside of the work environment will allow you to solicit more from conversations regarding technical, work-related issues. It also builds trust and comfort so that they feel psychologically safe to share things, despite insecurities.
  • Allowing for gaps in meetings works well for more reserved people to find their voice.
  • By exposing your personal side and establishing that communication, you open up the idea for them to do the same with you.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Managing Different Time Zones: Inclusive Collaboration Methods

19 May

Jonathan Belcher, Engineering Manager at Curative, shares an unknown side of synchronous communication tools and advises managers on how to handle a team that’s spread across the globe.

Remote
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Jonathan Belcher

Jonathan Belcher

Engineering Manager - Patient Experience at Curative

Managing Remotely: Balancing Team Cohesion and Focus Time

26 May

Jonathan Belcher, Engineering Manager at Curative, explains how to balance team cohesion and individual focus time, tapping into his experiences of working remotely for seven years.

Remote
Micromanagement
Meetings
Internal Communication
Productivity
Psychological Safety
Performance
Jonathan Belcher

Jonathan Belcher

Engineering Manager - Patient Experience at Curative

Streamlining Product Processes After a Reorganization

16 May

Snehal Shaha, Lead Technical Program Manager at Momentive (fka SurveyMonkey), details her short-term technical strategy to unify processes among teams following an acquisition.

Acquisition / Integration
Product Team
Product
Building A Team
Leadership
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Reorganization
Strategy
Team Processes
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Snehal Shaha

Snehal Shaha

Senior EPM/TPM at Apple Inc.

Navigating Disagreements When It Comes to Priorities

9 May

Pavel Safarik, Head of Product at ROI Hunter, shares his insights on how to deal with disagreements about prioritization when building a product.

Innovation / Experiment
Product Team
Product
Dev Processes
Conflict Solving
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Convincing
Strategy
Prioritization
Pavel Safarik

Pavel Safarik

Head of Product at ROI Hunter

Leading Your Team in Stressful Situations

27 April

David Kormushoff, Director at Koho, recalls how he galvanized his team to tackle a time-sensitive problem, sharing his tips on how to shift chaos into calm.

Goal Setting
Leadership
Conflict Solving
Deadlines
Collaboration
Motivation
Strategy
Health / Stress / Burn-Out
David Kormushoff

David Kormushoff

Director at Koho

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.