How Soft Skills Kickstarted My PM Career by Expedia Product Leader, Melissa Hutchins

Core Skills of Product Management:

1. Communication

  • Mastering the art of Overcommunication

  • Always seek Clarity over Comfort

2. Organization

  • Ensuring your team members know what needs to be done and why

3. Research

  • Curiosity is key for Pms

  • Living in your user`s reality

4. Execution

  • Bias for Action

  • Stepping up for the needs of your team

There's a lot of ambiguity:

  • As a Product Manager, you are the person who isultimately responsible for the success or failure of your product.

  • There will always be unexpected challenges that require your leadership and guidance.

  • If something needs to get done, it's your job to make sure it gets prioritized.

  • You are the main connector across teams and roles.

  • You will push for alignment across all stakeholders to avoid potential miscommunications or misunderstandings.

You are Comfortable with the Uncomfortable.

  • People come to you for a wide range of issues/problems that need solving.

  • You aren't going to have all the answers, but you take action to communicate with those who do.

  • You need to be okay with saying "No".

  • When building a product, being sure to ask the "obvious" questions is imperative - even though it feels daunting.

  • Even if you don't consider yourself to be very "technical", you're curious to learn more about technical concepts and how they will impact your product.

Mind-Setting up for Success.

Cultivating the Right Mindset:

1. Curiousity

Showing up Curious

Curiousity is key:

  • Take steps towards expanding your Network.

  • Actively pushing yourself beyond what`s comfortable.

  • Taking a Genuine Interest in the work of others.

  • Strengthens relationships

  • Builds respect and trust.

  • Create an environment that spreads curiosity across your team.

  • Make the effort to understand a diverse set of perspectives.

2. Growth

We Don`t Fail, We Learn.

  • Embrace being Wrong.

  • Seek Knowledge from Others.

  • Strive for Progress, Not Perfection.

  • Put yourself in the Customers shoes.

Real-World Example:

“You want to know the difference between a Master and a Beginner?”

“The Master has failed more times than the Beginner has ever tried.” Yoda

Melissa Hutchins, Expedia Product Leader