Leadership in product usually doesn’t include having authority so a huge part of a product manager’s day-to-day responsibilities is influencing and persuading.
How do product managers convince people to do things?
- Apply Positive Psychology – One of the key elements is positive psychology. Research shows it takes a mere 7 seconds for your mood to infect the people as you walk into a meeting room. As product managers and leaders, you have to be in charge of your mood and how you conduct yourself – not just what you say.
- Empower – Another key is to enable teams and connect people so they can have conversations without you in the room. With your responsibilities, you cannot be in every meeting all the time. Empower other people to decide, to reframe the problem in a way they can relate to it so you don’t become the bottleneck for this process. Give guard rails and the framework for where your involvement would be needed and what are the boundaries within which the team can operate and decide autonomously. Let people feel safe enough to be vulnerable.
- Connect – Engage people one-on-one. Find time to have coffee and slow down. Spend 5 mins in a meeting to find out how people are. Hand written personal thank you notes and 1-1 gratitude emails can go a long way. Be authentic. Figure out the role you have to play in a situation but still be authentic. Be adaptable and practice this skill. Show your vulnerability.
- Look after yourself – Carve out times to protect yourself. Take the time you need before walking into the next meeting. Schedule these in your calendar. Enhance your EQ and become more self aware.
— Sarah Pan (@sarahpannz) August 28, 2017