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Influencing without authority

All product managers must have effective verbal and written communication skills. This is especially important as product managers are frequently working with teams such as engineering, UX, and science, that do not report to them and have conflicting priorities. It is the job of a product manager to communicate the product vision to the team and persuade them to set aside some of their individual goals for the greater good of the product. This process involves negotiating a middle ground with key stakeholders in case of conflicts. In this sense, a product manager must operate as the perfect diplomat.

Dealing with ambiguity

A product manager frequently deals with situations that have no precedent. For example, you may be launching a completely new and innovative product that has never been released before and your organization is the first to market. In such cases, there is no set playbook that can be followed in launching the product. You may not have any data to understand how to execute such a product launch. To handle such scenarios, you need to be comfortable making decisions by using your judgment to decide the product's direction. The team will look to you to have a vision and course correct as necessary in order to launch a successful product.


In an ideal world, you will have all the resources needed to launch the features and capabilities that your customers are asking for. However, we do not live in an ideal world. Product managers have to deal with a finite amount of resources available to us and make the most out of it. You will find that the amount of bandwidth available on your stakeholder teams such as engineering, science, and UX, is limited. You do not want to stretch your team and risk burning them out, which will eventually lead to attrition. As a result, you will have to learn how to prioritize your team's bandwidth on projects that will significantly move the needle for your business. This involves being able to say some hard no's to projects that you were hoping to accomplish, but are good to have and not must have.

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