Our program manager (PgM) was a stern lady. She kept the project on track, and as a deadline neared, she grew more and more serious. I worked on the iOS client, and I felt like she was ignoring me in favor of the Android developers.
One day, I was scheduled to meet our PgM in person, alone, for the first time. She worked on another continent, so I had only seen her through a conference room camera. I expected her to berate me for not keeping the iOS client up to spec with Android. They have five engineers, and I’m working alone on iOS! No reasonable person could expect the two clients to be the same. I felt a sense of dread as the meeting approached.
When I found our PgM in the conference room, she jumped up and greeted me with a smile and a hug. Immediately, she complimented me on my amazing work on iOS while everyone was focused on Android. She quickly offered to help me fix the list of issues plaguing the iOS client and barely asked anything of me. In less than 30 minutes, we had a game plan for the upcoming launch. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one!
Our PgM genuinely wanted both clients to succeed. We simply hadn’t communicated well until we had a face to face interaction. That afternoon, we solved the problem together as teammates, and we’ve had a good relationship to this day.