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Building Rapport with your Team as a Product Manager


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Slides Alberto Simon recently used in his discussion w/ mentees of The Product Mentor.

Synopsis: Learn the best tips on building rapport with a new or existing team. Earn the trust of your team by showing them the value you can bring to their daily work life.

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

Published in: Business
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Building Rapport with your Team as a Product Manager

  1. 1. Building Rapport as a PM Alberto Simon
  2. 2. Masterworks: Own a piece of history! MASTERWORKS About me: • 12+ years of product management • Variety of industries including: Finance, Health, Advertising, Social • Have led multiple products from idea to execution and growth • Start-up experience as head of product and co-founder, most recent: • Masterworks: art/investment platform • Sell fractional ownership in high end art as investments • Started August 2017, beta launch May 1st • Payability: fin-tech start up • Started 4 years ago • 50+ employees • Profitable business since 2017 • Strong advocate for process that increases efficiency and optimizes value add to a company
  3. 3. Framework Why it is important? Integrity and Honesty Intent Execution Results Soft Skills
  4. 4. Why it is important • Product managers often do not succeed due to lack of trust • Efficiency comes with trust built on your team • As a non individual contributor, this is your main way to influence and bring value to a company • Lack of it will inevitably affect your ability to become a valuable team member
  5. 5. First 90 days: • Avoid the common mistake of not respecting previous efforts or people • Set up time to talk to key members of the organization, attempt to keep it casual like lunch or coffee • Read any available documentation • Use the product and observe others using it! • Small wins with small opportunities builds trust • Rapport upward to leaders and fellow pms
  6. 6. 1: Integrity and Honesty • Avoid the pressure to act like someone you are not, embrace what makes you unique and bring your true self to work each day • Stand for something • Make and keep commitments • Accept the responsibility
  7. 7. Additional comments: • Be open minded to ideas and even just venting and commentary • Keep a positive attitude even if things are not working as desired • Do not deflect to superiors as far as why something needs to be done
  8. 8. 2: Intent • Focus on conveying the end goal of improving your product and company • Avoid displaying any motive related to professional advancement • Genuinely and actively look to find out what motivates others and care for helping them improve that • Seek mutual benefit • Be open about your goals
  9. 9. Other things to do: • Show empathy but only if you are the type of person who genuinely shows it, faking it is worse than not showing it • Help even when its not your direct job to do so • Encourage people to come to you • Praise others publicly when they do a good job
  10. 10. 3. Execution • Look to reduce bottlenecks, it is one of the best ways to gain trust and show the team what you can help them with • Be the expert - do your research, learn your product and answer questions others may ask about your product. This goes a long way in helping everyone realize how useful you are. • Play to your strengths - if you are more technical, help out with that. If you are better at marketing, assist there. • Contribute early and often, even on small tasks
  11. 11. Do not: • Take credit for others work • React badly to questions • Badmouth past teams even if others do • Deflect if something does not turn out working well • Avoid confronting issues that come up • Create an environment that lacks transparency • Try to confuse with overuse of jargon or tech details
  12. 12. 4: Results • Expect to win, this helps reinforce positive behaviors and builds trust in you as a leader • Finish strong, always push to the very end even if things aren't looking good • Communicate results clearly and concisely to help others believe in your ability to represent their best interests and work • Improve from the last time, continually
  13. 13. 5: Soft Skills • Listen before you speak • Try to learn about your team on a personal level and not just professionally • Make an effort to talk about more than work, forming personal bonds over music, food, hobbies will go a long way • Attention to detail - lacking this can lead to loss of confidence from a team • Negotiation skills are key to a product managers skillset as they help to earn the belief from your team • Resourcefulness can help others feel comfortable that no matter what the task, you will figure out a viable way to accomplish it
  14. 14. Parting thoughts: 1. Be yourself and learn how to play to your own personality 2. Communication is key and this includes non work topics 3. Focus on showing that your main goal is to create the best product and not for you to look your best