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Product Manager soft skills
What are they and why are they essential to the success of your business? We deliver the best testimonials on the subject, “Action! ”.
“Soft skills for Product Managers”
Brant Cooper, “Mooves the Needle” CEO and founder
Brant Cooper highlights the personal skills that a good Product Manager must have. He gives three main ones:
- Being empathetic: this quality is essential to understanding its users, i.e. their needs and desires.
- Accept failure: a Product Manager must constantly test. He identifies hypotheses to experiment and help him to make decisions. In this perspective, tests may fail. However, failing regularly reduces the risk of failure in the medium or long term.
- Admitting the error: admitting that you were wrong avoids bias and invites you to focus on tangible facts demonstrated by concrete evidence.
“Making of a great Product Manager”
by Julia Austin, lecturer Harvard Business School
During the first part of this interview, Julia Austin describes, based on her past experiences, the central qualities of the Product Manager:
- Demonstrate emotional intelligence to work with all stakeholders to build the product.
- Have a strong will and be empathetic.
- Adapt because building a product is not a linear process and priorities can change. You have to know how to change course and diverge if the hypotheses defined beforehand are incorrect.
“The 3 core skills sets PMs need to succeed”
by Jonathan Lewis, Product Manager at Twitter
Jonathan Lewis retains three essential soft skills:
- Demonstrate leadership: this quality is central to define product direction, but also to work with stakeholders and understand the production team.
- Execute: manage the daily progress of the product, set a goal and rely on analytical skills.
- Develop your product sense: understand a complex product environment, define the product and its main characteristics.
“What I look for when I hire a Product Manager?”
by Angeli Jain, Director of Product Management at YouTube
In this vidéo, Angeli Jain evokes the fundamental values and skills that she wishes to find in a good Product Manager:
- To carry the vision: the Product Manager demonstrates creativity, he knows how to communicate and think in the long run.
- To structure his thinking: the Product Manager has analytical skills and strategic skills. He knows how to communicate, prioritize and set the course.
- Leadership and collaboration: leading teams and giving them meaning is essential for the Product Manager. The latter gives the vision and tells the story of the product. Being the owner of the product, he knows how to face up to his responsibilities and show composure.
- Execution and accountability: the Product Manager is responsible for the day-to-day progress of the product. In this sense, a good profile often has organizational skills. He knows how to dialogue, convince and guide the main decision-makers.
“The art of saying no”
by Mina Radhakrishnan
In this video, Mina Radhakrishnan focuses on an essential soft skill: knowing how to say no. However, it is not always easy to answer by saying “no” because the Product Manager works with different streams or departments:
- When prioritizing the backlog, stakeholders may have requests. It is up to the Product Manager to say no. However, it is necessary to justify yourself (remember the objectives, deadlines, solutions and KPIs).
- The prioritization must also be carried out with regard to the objectives of the company. This makes it easier to refuse a request if it is not in line with the strategic objectives of the organization.
- It is recommended to listen and understand the needs of your interlocutors. The latter can propose solutions to solve their problem without changing the prioritization.
- Finally, finding common ground is advisable before refusing any request.
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