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How to initiate discussions with execs?

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Software Engineer [L3] at LinkedIn9 months ago

I am early in the career and have managed a few events in the company, so some execs Sr. Manager, Director and Sr. Director recognize me. Whenever I am around them, I get blank and they are the first one to say Hi, how are you doing?

Any high-level tips to get over it? I am also not sure what to talk to them about but probably some company highlights, team things or very general fun things.

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    Tech Leadership Coach • Former Head of Engineering
    9 months ago

    If it's in a casual setting like a company event or passing by each other in the halls, approach it like any normal interaction -- don't overthink it or make adjustments just because they are more senior.

    The same principles apply such as finding common ground and taking a genuine curiosity in the other person.

    If they ask you about something work-related, lean towards being direct and concise. This might lead to some follow-up questions, which is generally good since it indicates that they are engaged. If you don't have an answer on the spot, say that and let them know that you'll dig into it and get back to them.

    One final thought.

    Remember execs are humans and once junior employees as well. The good ones have a lot of empathy and want to interact more with people outside of their direct reporting line.

    "It's lonely at the top" is cliche, but very true. Sometimes they just want to have a nice social interaction that is not politically charged (I can personally attest to this from both sides).

    Feel free to DM me if you have further questions. Interested to hear how it goes once you've put the suggestions into practice.

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    Coding Challenge Writer @ CodingChallenges.fyi
    9 months ago

    They're human just like you. They have hobbies, hopes, fears and dreams too.

    Talk to them just like you would any other person you meet. Get to know them as a person.

    Start simple and respond to the , how are you doing" with something like: "I'm great thanks had a great weekend hiking, what about you?".

    s/hiking/your hobby/

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