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What It Takes To Become A Great Product Manager

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Product management is becoming an increasingly popular career choice, and many people are exploring options that will allow them to take the plunge into product management.

But the truth of the matter is – there are various skills and knowledge that you need to succeed in this industry.

So what does it take to become a successful Product Manager (PM)?

There will be many different opinions on what makes a great product manager. To those wishing to embark on this career path, I believe you should adopt or take note of the following factors to become a success:

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a very important quality for product managers to possess! Most product managers understand the do’s & don’ts of customer interviews. Good product managers however – can sympathise with interviewees; tuning into his or her body language & grasping the key points a product will address.
Emotional intelligence is often one of the most underestimated skills we possess!

Company-Product Fit

Company-Product fit involves many aspects. But the most important ones in my opinion are the relevant skills to deeply understand an organisation & its product. This means the ability to understand the product function, business objectives & customers. Many companies require product managers to take & pass a core skills test, irrespective of the type of product they are going to work on but follow up with company & customer knowledge.

Relationship Management

By fostering trustworthy & authentic connections with external & internal stakeholders, a good PM encourages people to reach their full potential. I never say no to an office game of ping pong,  & it really can make all the difference in the workplace to foster those personal relations!

Self-Awareness

To stay objective & avoid projecting their preferences or ideas onto those using their products, PM’s need to stay ‘self-aware’. Self-management & social awareness, managing tight deadlines, market demands, resource constraints, prioritisation conflicts, amongst others, can be stressful for any person. When a PM is not able to manage their emotions, others can quickly lose confidence.

Core Competencies

And then finally, there are competencies that all PMs must possess, and most of these are gained with time and often through mentorships.

Examples include: running design prints, user testing and conducting interviews. The art of resource allocation, road map planning and feature prioritisation. Revenue modelling & pricing also conducting market assessments; these core skill-sets are what define product managers.

Product Managers or aspiring ones need to hone these skills until they become second nature.

It requires dedication and persistence to get to a place where you can comfortably and confidently carry out your duties as a PM.

Mandar Karlekar

Mandar Karlekar

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