What does a product manager need to use to make a career and develop his products? Communication skills!
You need business communication skills for everything: dealing with the owners, motivating the team, in-depth customer interviews . Anyone can write and say the words, but can anyone use the words to persuade and spark interest in someone?
Communication skills are necessary for:
- networking and negotiating;
- communicating with the customers;
- communicating with the team.
Storist experts drew up the lists of books for each situation. They will be useful for anyone, working with the people, and for those, who carry out team management and product management.
Books for networking and negotiating
“Crucial Conversations” by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, and Ron McMillan
How to build conversation with a partner, who has a totally different view on the situation? How to communicate with an employee, who insists on his alternative way of developing the product? How to conduct negotiations about increasing the budget with investors?
These are situations, which any product manager will face in his/her career. The “Crucial Conversations” will help you to carry out the negotiations with benefit for yourself and with respect towards the opponent. The dialogues are reviewed from different angles, depending on your motivation or the words that you say. The book is 400 pages long.
“Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi
This book is a practical manual on how to create your own network system and maintain relationships with people. You will learn to find useful contacts even through social networks and make communication pleasant and beneficial for both sides.
Keith Ferrazzi became a marketing director for Deloitte Consulting in his twenties, and he associates his success with his communication skills. He created his own system of mutual benefit, which is being studied now at Stanford Business School. The book is 280 pages long.
“Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
Do you remember the feeling when you were being understood? Or maybe, when people were engaged in listening to you?
Understanding other people, engaged listening, reading and accepting other people’s emotions, being sincere – these are all qualities of a person with advanced emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence enables you to smooth many things out, to solve conflicts, to get your point across and accept others’, build long term trusting relationships with everybody: from investors to the clients.
In “Emotional Intelligence” Daniel Goleman teaches you how to exercise your emotional intelligence in a fail-safe way. The book is 400 pages long.
Books for communicating with the clients
“The Experience Economy” by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore
The authors confidently declare that business is a theater. They introduce you to scenarios on how to capture the client’s attention and make the purchase exciting and enjoyable.
The showman and the entrepreneur P.T. Burnam bought a museum in New York. In order to create a demand for his new exhibition, he organized a show: an actor was hired to gradually move the bricks from one place to another closer to his museum. When the clock struck 12, he left the bricks and ran into the museum. In just a couple of days, there was a long line before the building. This is how P.T. Burnam became a millionaire in the 19th century: he managed to sell every project using emotions.
If you implement the ideas from the book into the sales of your product, the customers will come back for more and more: people love emotions. You won’t need any actors, but the show will still go on! The book is 450 pages long.
“Hooked” by Nir Eyal
To sell the product is just half the work. The other half is to make the customer want to use it continuously. In “Hooked” Nir Eyal describes how people get hooked on technologies and how technologies form our habits.
Deloitte made a study, which showed that 61% of the people check their smartphones during 5 minutes after waking up, 88% of the people – during 30 minutes after waking up and 96% – during 60 minutes. In most cases they check messengers and social networks. This is an example of how the habit works.
How and why our habits are formed? What kind of communication makes it possible for customers to fall in love with your product and use it constantly? The detailed answers are in “Hooked” by Nir Eyal. The book is 220 pages long.
“This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin
In his book, the ex-CEO of Marketing in Yahoo! describes how marketing changes people and the world around them. You will learn the psychology of the modern customer: how and why does he/she buy things? What does he/she look for and what does he/she react to? This knowledge will help you to study your target audience and speak to it in the same language using marketing tools. The book is 220 pages long.
Books for communicating with the team
“Drive” by Daniel H. Pink
Working with a creative kind of team takes a lot of skill. Sometimes it is very hard to motivate such people, while their job is crucial.
In his book “Drive” Daniel H. Pink introduces the motivational system 3.0: the three factors that will inspire your employees to work better, faster and have fun doing it. The exciting thing about this system is that it is not about paying extra money or praising your staff. It does not motivate through the fear of getting fined or by lecturing people.
This is a new perspective on communication with your employees, which will open up the potential of your team. The book is 400 pages long.
“Scrum” by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson
This is an outstanding book for managers and entrepreneurs, who lead a small team. Scrum method lets you organize communication inside your team in such a way that each member would understand the task quickly and communicate easily with his/her colleagues.
This system does not require sophisticated communication patterns with lots of paperwork and extensive training: just implement Scrum and focus on the result. It is suitable for any kind of business.
Learn basic principles of this method in “Scrum” by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson. The book is 300 pages long.
“The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier
The product evolves as long as the team evolves. This is why coaching is one of the key communicative skills of a product manager.
This only skill can have an influence on several factors:
- developing the project by means of the project itself
If your employees learn to solve difficult tasks, the whole project benefits from it. You can set ambitious goals and outrun your competitors.
- loyalty of your staff
Trusting an employee with new tasks increases his/her professional self-esteem. If you grow professionally in some place, you certainly don’t want to leave it.
- trusting relationships
Coaching induces trust of an employee towards his supervisor: it is comforting when you are getting help opposed to just demanding the results. It is also an opportunity to talk and to understand each other better.
“The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier will help you learn how to become a mentor for your team without pressure and preaching even in the fields that you are barely familiar with. The book is 350 pages long.
How to read all these books fast
How much time do you need to read one book? Three days? A week?
And how much time do you need to read a book thoughtfully? We have written an article on how to do it.
We suggest studying all these books in just 9 hours. Yes, that’s an hour for each.
Storist experts have already read all these books and made short summaries. Our methodists have prepared frameworks and tools that you can use right away.
With our help, you will not only save time, but practice the skills. Go to our catalog and choose a book that you will already finish studying today.