Product management is hard. One day you’re receiving praise for how great your product and team is, the next day you’re being questioned on product decisions that you made and it seems like all you’re getting is negative feedback from customers and stakeholders. When so much importance is placed on demonstrating empathy, PMs face diminishing returns if we’re unable to show empathy for ourselves.
Hard skills such as OKR development, KPIs, and technical expertise can only take product managers so far without practicing the most under-appreciated soft skill that I want to shine a light on: self-compassion.
As Product Managers, we’re constantly communicating. Furthermore, we’re communicating to drive action. Whether that action is getting your team on board with a new vision, getting stakeholder buy-in for a shift in product strategy, or finally getting around to writing that Medium post that’s been in your head, it takes a lot of brainpower. When your job is to “influence without authority” it can be emotionally and intellectually exhausting thinking about what you’re going to say, and how to say it, especially when there is a lot on the line professionally and personally.
I like building things. Currently a Senior Product Manager at Help Scout. I thrive on connection, curiosity, and coffee.