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4 Ways to Elevate Your Communication Skills as a Product Manager

By Puja Lakhlani – Head of Product Management @ UST Product Engineering

Communication is the ability to know your audience, tailor your message and speak their language with the goal of establishing alignment and shared understanding. Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity. This is a very important soft skill that is paramount in any job because it’s the ability to know your audience and the ability to tailor your message and speak the language that they do. The world today is very complex and quickly evolving. Business environments are changing, there are hundreds of different communication tools, we have hybrid and remote teams, we even have multicultural teams spanning different time zones. So effective communication has never been so important.

What do employers seek when they are assessing communication skills? They are evaluating you for things like active listening skills and how adaptive you are.

Key Takeaways:

  • For product managers, one of the ways in which they can elevate their communication skills is by getting to know people, especially their stakeholders.
  • It is important for them to understand their audience well.
  • Storytelling is an important skill product managers can utilize to effectively communicate.
  • In doubtful situations, it is always better to over-communicate your point of view to explain your message better.
In this article
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    1. Get to know people

    Product managers are directly responsible for synthesizing the voices and needs of their stakeholders. It’s very important that you establish a good communication hub as a product manager within your organization. As a product manager, you are the facilitator and you have the information everyone needs. This means people may come to you when they need facts and figures. And you’re in charge of taking that information and sifting through ideas to create real products for real people that solve real problems.

    2. Understand your audience

    As a product manager, your ability to manage your stakeholders that have an interest in the product and its success is key. It is important to get to know everyone cross-functionally within your company. It is also important to get to know their role, their driving factors and understand challenges so you can really build a genuine relationship that can translate what you learn into solutions.

    3. Tell a story

    One of the biggest tools product managers can use is storytelling. It’s an opportunity to put your point across and really build a shared understanding with your audience. It helps in conveying messages effectively, making complex ideas more accessible and relatable. 

    4. When in doubt, over communicate

    One of the things is when in doubt, over-communicate your vision and story when delivering complex messages. Try to do it in an in person manner if you can instead of hiding behind an email or voicemail. When appropriate, follow up your understanding in writing because this means that you are able to get out of your comfort zone and genuinely build that relationship.

    Effective communication is a vital skill if you want to thrive as a product manager. For product managers, the ability to understand, tailor messages, and build genuine relationships with stakeholders is essential for success. By utilizing tools like storytelling and over-communicating, product managers can navigate any product problem they come across.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Product managers can elevate their communication skills by getting to know the people, understanding their audience, storytelling and over-communicating in cases of doubt.

    Storytelling in product management helps in conveying messages to the audience effectively, making complex ideas more accessible and relatable.

    Communication skills are important for product managers because it helps them get to know their audience and also helps them tailor their messages according to the audience to get the point across.

    About the Author:

    Puja Lakhlani – Head of Product Management @ UST Product Engineering

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