In this ProductTank London talk, Osaseri Guobadia, product director at Songkick, provides a framework for how you can gain confidence in yourself and encourage others around you to be confident in your capabilities.
Watch the video to see her talk in full, or read on for an overview of her key points:
- Become an expert early on
- Embrace the baptisms of fire
- Tell compelling stories (regularly)
- Be easy to work with and effective
- Understand that strategy isn’t magical
- Talk about progression
Become an expert early on
Osaseri explains that while it may seem daunting to think of yourself as an expert — especially in the early stages of your product career — there are some ways that you can demonstrate expertise. Learn details about the business model and user behavior, have information interviews, and dig into available data. This will allow you to find unique methods that work for you and share them with others, make you a better problem solver and lean into your strengths to grow your expertise.
Embrace the baptisms of fire
Sometimes new responsibilities can be challenging. However you are likely to come out better each time. Accept more responsibility and ask questions to find your own way of doing things.
Tell compelling stories (regularly)
Storytelling is a crucial skill for any product manager. As Seri explains, you need to find the techniques that appeal to you. Remember to clearly highlight the problem, share the solution and evidence with your audience, and repeat the stories. In job applications, this will require you to focus on measurable outcomes that demonstrate your expertise.
Be easy to work with and effective
As a product manager, you will need to say ‘no’ a lot. However, you need to always do so with empathy and provide a reason so that others understand.
Strategy isn’t magical
Strategic thinking is a skill that can be developed over time. There is no need to feel intimidated to create great business stories, as many are crafted after the fact. Product managers need to understand that strategy is the combination of business problems, business goals, and market opportunities, meaning that the right approach will vary from situation to situation.
Talk about progression
Product managers should talk about skills they need and the areas they want to grow in with their peers and higher-ups. They must also learn how progress is made in their organization.
The key takeaway from this talk is that product managers should worry less and focus on doing an excellent job in their work as it’s impossible to control every aspect of progression.
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