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What it takes to move to Product Management from another function successfully.

When I reflect on all the mentoring sessions that I have had so far, I can say that the different sessions couldn’t have been more colourful. I tested several early stage versions of apps, I brainstormed on new ideas, I have shared career advice and I spoken to many product managers who are in a similar state as I am and we exchanged experiences and learned from each other.
Nevertheless, I do see some patterns of topics, which occur regularly and I want to take one of those today and write down my thoughts for more people to read. The topic that I chose for this blog post is around how to transition to product management from other disciplines. Spoiler alert: it is possible, always. But it requires endurance, passion and commitment.
Tl;dr For me, far and foremost it is the passion to solve customer problems, which means to be 100% customer centric and have the ability to put yourself in your customers shoes at any given point in time. The more empathy a product manager has towards their…
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Taming Advice Monsters While Mentoring

Let me introduce you to the advice monster that I got to know in Michael Bungay Stanier’s TED talk “How to tame your advice monster”. Imagine someone asking you for advice. Before they even finish explaining the problem, your advice monster awakens already waiting for its turn to burst out all the brilliant advice. That advice monster is convinced that you know the situation well even if you may not have the full context at all. 
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Mentoring requests often start with a small description of a person’s challenges and often it ends with a question: “What could you advise m…

How to get the best out of Career Coaching

Once you find the right career coach, it takes some effort to make the experience effective and rewarding. Here are a few tips.
Consider scheduling recurring sessions (e.g., once a month) instead of a one-time meeting. In my experience, coaching works best when you commit to it for a length of time. Lasting changes take time and require your coach to work with you over multiple sessions to go deeper into your specific areas of focus and understand the context of your unique challenges. Regular check-ins are important to tailor the process and assess progress and receive feedback. Also, effective coaching is built on trust between the two parties and this takes time.Before you begin your first interaction, send your coach a few details about your background and what you plan to discuss. This allows them to be prepared and keeps the conversation focussed and specific.Tailor the frequency, time and duration of the sessions to meet your needs. For example, if you don’t need an entire hour…

Are you willing to take risks, as a leader, to be your authentic self?

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