PMs in Culturally Diverse Companies by Zalando Product Leader, Maria Beatriz Ribeiro Vaz

High global demand for good product managers.  

The role of product management plays an important role in modern marketing. Product management is one of the most promising professions in recent years. The demand is only growing. We know from the digitalization of small large companies that the role of product management is crucial for this. 

If you are a PM or aspire to become one, and would love to have an experience abroad – why not trying it? 

Challenges. Culture shock of starting as a PM a culturally diverse company. 

Challenges of cultural differences.  

  • Communication. Communication between non-native speakers can often generate misunderstandings. 

  • Interpretation. What people of one culture or country see as appropriate behavior or common sense may be quite different from what citizens of other countries expect. 

  • Remote work. 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal. Remote set up make it even harder to pick up on the unspoken subtext of a conversation. 

Don't take it for granted! 

Even those who are culturally informed, travel extensively, and have lived abroad often have few strategies for dealing with the cross-cultural complexity that affects their team's day-to-day effectiveness. 

Empowering. How to prepare for the challenge of starting to work in a multicultural environment. 

How to better work in multicultural environment. 

  • Self – Awareness. 

    One of the most important thing is for you to understand your way of working and how your cultural background reflects on your behavior. 

  • Know your team. 

    Take some time to know your colleagues besideswork. Learn what they like to do, what motivate them and find what you have in common. 

  • Be vulnerable. 

    Don't be defensive! It is crucial to be open to listen to others feedback and carefully analyze what you can improve about it. 

Strengths. How working with international people can make you grow as a better Product Manager. 

PM's Important Soft Skills. 

  • Empathy. 

    In order to achieve a PM role successfully there is a need to be able to put yourself in the customer's shoes and understand their perspectives as they use your product. 

  • Flexibility. 

    Product managers need to be able to keep up with changes and stay flexible to ensure products are developed and launched in a timely and efficient manner. 

  • Communication skills. 

    Proper communication skills, including written and spoken, encure the PM can effectively communicate with their team and stakeholders to get successful products built. 

  • Trust building. 

    Being transparent about decisions with their team and stakeholders, and getting them involved in the decision – making process can be critical for the success of a product. 

Most important: Enjoy the amazing experience and all the people you have the chance to meet! 

Maria Beatriz Ribeiro Vaz, Zalando Product Leader.