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Coaching – Collaboration

In this article, I continue the series on coaching product managers by talking about another critically important skill that is so often misunderstood or under-appreciated, and that is collaboration. Collaboration is one of those words that is used so often in so many...

Coaching – Thinking

So far in this series on coaching, I’ve described a tool for assessing a current or prospective product manager, and then provided detailed examples of how to craft a plan to help the product manager first reach competence, and then to reach her potential. We’ve...

Coaching – Managing Time

I’ve long said that to get the critically important work of a product manager done, you need on the order of four solid hours a day. To be clear, I’m not talking about e-mail or slack or meetings.  I mean quality time working on coming up with solutions to the...

Coaching – Owner vs. Employee

As many of you know, for the past several months I have focused my writing on helping managers of product managers provide better coaching of their people. The last several articles have provided a set of coaching tools and techniques designed to help you get your...

The Greatest Coach

I talk a lot about product culture and how important it is, but one inconvenient fact has always bothered me, which is that my favorite product companies – for example, Google, Apple and Amazon – all have such different cultures. I came to realize that the...

Coaching Tools – The Plan

In my previous article, I defined how I encourage managers of product managers to assess the current skill level of a product manager in order to identify skill gaps.  In this sequel to that article, I would like to share how I coach product managers on each of these...

Coaching Tools – The Assessment

NOTE: This article and the coaching tool it describes is an update to the older gap analysis tool described in Developing Strong Product Managers. In my last several articles, I have been focusing on coaching tools for helping managers of product managers to raise the...

Coaching Tools – The Narrative

In my last article I talked about the importance of the one on one coaching sessions between a manager and her product manager.  That technique is about providing an ongoing mechanism for helping the product manager to reach his or her potential. In this article, I’d...

Coaching Tools – The One on One

I’d be surprised if you haven’t at least heard about the coaching technique known as the “one on one” (aka “1:1”). And you’ve probably experienced some version yourself. But judging from my discussions with literally thousands of product managers and product leaders,...

More PM Problem Areas

Last month I published an article describing common areas of confusion I see product managers struggling with.  That article generated considerable discussion, and lead to some very good conversations.  It also made visible several other common problems, which I...

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