Improvement is not about your goals, it is about what you do everyday to reach them. We’ve listed three things you can do to improve your product management skills this week. All of them take less than 15 minutes. Pick your favorite and do it!
1. Foster psychological safety.
In 2012 Google set out to discover how to build the perfect team and found that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work. Psychological safety means that it within a group is safe for interpersonal risk taking, meaning that team members are less worried about the potential negative consequences of expressing a new or different idea. Google has put together an excellent sheet of actions to take that will help foster psychological safety which is the foundation of an effective team: Manager Actions for Psychological Safety.
2. Change perspective.
You have probably read several articles by now on how to be a better product manager written from the perspective of another product manager. What could be even more important is to learn what your fellow engineers and designers expect from you, as your job is to help them to deliver. These two articles are written from the perspective of an engineer and a designer.
How Engineers Want to Work with Product Managers by Zach Schneider
An Open Letter to Product Managers: From a UX Designer by Raymond Galang
3. Learn about expectations.
When you are done reading this: walk over to a team member and ask “What do you expect from me this week?”. That will help you set clear goals for this week while your team member will (most likely) appreciate your openness to feedback and also get the help he or she really needs. It’s a simple way to start fostering psychological safety and to become a more effective product manager.
You will find more articles, tools and books on how to work better with your team in Building an Effective Team.