Want to become a product manager? Don’t forget about the soft skills

  • It’s helpful to create a generic structure to write your feature/bug tickets. I usually like to include the user story to make sure you focus on the user, some context for understanding and acceptance criteria to define the ticket as done.
  • Even if a feature ticket is very technical, don’t forget to frame the ticket from a user’s perspective including the acceptance criteria.
  • I would recommend not only to verbally communicate progress/issues etc. but also send out an email to stakeholders. Stakeholders are busy, by only verbally communicating, some vital information may be forgotten. By sending an email you have proof of exactly what you communicated.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question or not sure about it, be honest and say you will come back with an answer later.
  • When you are assigned to a new team or have a new team member, sit down with each individual, get to know them and on a deeper level understand what do they want to achieve in the current role. This will ultimately help you build a better relationship with your team.
  • Practice active listening skills. In order for really effective communication to take place in any situation, people need to have a desire to listen to you and what you have to say. A good exercise in being present is to listen intently to the person communicating with you, and then play back to them what you think you heard.
  • To communicate successfully with different teams, deeply think if you were them, what would you want. Look to really empathize about their concerns, and ensure to take those concerns into account at a deep level.
  • Mapping the ecosystem of stakeholders will help to visualize the people in the ecosystem and assign qualities to them. Knowing who is a potential roadblock and who is a decision maker allows you to develop strategies to deal with those individuals.
  • To better communicate with upper management it’s important to get to the point and at the same time focus on impact and management’s top concerns.

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Co-Founder of Jumanji Lab

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