Product management is pretty much a challenging job that has lots of aspects which can be difficult to define and narrow down. And a product manager put on many hats to lead a cross-functional squad that creates or develops a product while verbalizing its strategy, features and roadmap. Product manager can also be tangled with the marketing, forecasting, profit and losses of the product. Hence, they must have some leadership qualities to be successful in their field.
Here are the seven leadership skills a successful product manager should have
1. Having a Good Team Spirit
A product manager should be a good team player then only they can get along with the people in their team. In a product management team, there are people from different fields like designing, engineering, analytics, marketing and sales. Therefore, it’s necessary to create a good bond between every team member to deliver the best product. Also, teamwork gives far better than a one-man show.
2. Having Trust & confidence on Your Team
The finest aspect of being a great product manager is to truly trust your product management team. Trusting your team means stop micromanaging your team, stop questioning the abilities of your team members and providing them with the necessary training to enhance their skills this will push them to deliver their best. Absence of trust in your team always leads underperformance in your team. Thus, always make them feel that you trust them it will make team members more responsible for their work.
3. Having Excellent Communication Skills
Product managers are in the centre of an info triangle among team, market and firm. They need to be able to verbally communicate clearly with team members and other people, but also need good written communication skills. This is because they will be required to write things like a market research report. Therefore, a product manager needs to discover the finest approach and technique to convey their ideas, thoughts and the opinions they gathered from others under situations like team discussions, corporate meetings or customers interviews. Product managers can practice and improve their communication skills through public speaking or writing that can also help articulate new ideas.
4. Prioritizing Works Accordingly
Product managers are required to have the skill to cut through the noises and acknowledge what is essential for the customers and the corporation then filters out the works accordingly. You constantly get demands from your inside and outside stakeholders, so it’s essential to filter out these demands accordingly. Definitely it’s not a nice plan to thoughtlessly following and implementing on what consumers, salespeople, clients say or what your rivals perform. At the same time, following your gut feeling also not going to work all the time, so the middle ground is to create a prioritization framework based on the criteria that your company and team value. It will help you to make better decisions and also you can easily explain your team about your ideas and thoughts through this framework.
5. Practice Strategic Thinking
Product manager job is to supervise a product from inauguration to market. To do so a product manager needs to do a thorough analysis of the product and the market. Then using that research data, they need to build a strategy for steering from one point to another. That means analyzing how long things will take to complete and how to make the most of the market process. This Strategic Thinking helps product managers to work effectively.
6. Having Problem Solving Ability
There are two types of problem-solving attitude a product manager should have, first one is to solve the pain customers have through the product they are developing. The second one is the problems that come up in the way of their teams by removing the obstacles or filling the gaps. Most of the time we jump straight to the solutions without solving the problems but it’s important to solve the problems before finding the solutions. Problems come from different directions in different shapes and we need various approaches to deal with them. Hence having a good problem-solving skill help us to deal with different types of problems.
7. Being Empathic with Others
It’s one of the important qualities of the product manager. Being gentle and showing empathy for different kind of people like customers, team members, company and many others is important to create a healthy working environment. Unless you create a happy workplace for your team, you can’t get a better product. Your product development process includes real humans so you need to empathize and understand their emotions then only you can maintain a balance in your product development and getting results from other people to hit your goal as a Product Manager.
There are many soft skills and hard skills that can help a product manager but tackling these above seven qualities help you to master at your product management. Once you have a strong foundation of these above skills, you can head start to concentrating on how to enhance your other skills in the best way to become a well-rounded product manager.
Can you think of any other leadership and management skills product managers should acquire? Let me know below!