3: Mentoring New Product Managers Through Empathy and Understanding

06.09.2021 - By How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem

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Today, in the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, Jeff and Red welcome our panel of experts on product management to talk about mentoring new product managers. They discuss how domain expertise can help new PMs grow in the field, the qualities one must have to understand and build relationships with customers, improving problem solving skills and building frameworks to tackle problems, and the roles senior PMs play in honing younger leaders.


Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.


What to Listen For:

00:00 Intro

00:43 Building empathy and understanding for new Product Managers

02:31 Taking ownership and being proactive early on

04:06 Understand your customers and build relationships

06:52 PM’s must be curious and empathetic

08:40 Spend time to learn your product domain

13:39 Multiple variables affect what you end up focusing on as a PM

16:26 PMs often focus on the solution but don’t spend much time understanding the problem

19:01 The most important skill for new PM’s: actively ask questions

23:00 Promising books new PMs should read

26:40 Tools to help communicate with customers and conduct market research

31:27 How do you make problems and their solutions meaningful to the market?

35:40 Find a good mentor to guide you along the way

36:28 Difference between a mentor and a sponsor

38:14 Help coming from a senior product leader

42:42 Creating a psychologically safe space for new PMs

46:54 Challenges transitioning from B2B to B2C role

50:37 Observe patterns and build frameworks to tackle problems

51:35 Be that go-to person for the team

54:18 Are you spending time listening to your customers?

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