Jan Abaza, Yumiko, John discussed on The Product Experience


So you're used to dealing with people or you have experienced dealing with people anyway as potentially the most stressful moment of their life and one of our former guests jan abaza has green line about. You know what's really hard about managing product that product management is managing people and relationships more than the actual triaging technical decisions. And things like that. And you know. We give nicknames different kinds of hard stakeholders yumiko them hippos and seagulls. Zebras and things like that When you're dealing with with people who are challenging personalities and trying to change the with the dynamic. Is there anything from your background. That gives you a john handle. Yeah i don't know if that's an edge. But i you categorize people. I don't know that categorize me the exact same terminology that you have I haven't interrupted her in so a drawing back to nine one one days inevitably at the busiest storm. Possibly you know. There's a tornado warning or something busy snowstorm. Something bad is happening. you're very busy. There's a lot of activity happening throughout the municipality and there's always the interrupt that's going to call because there's a raccoon on her porch or there is a loud siren outside for fire emergency and that person isn't interrupted. You still treat that user use. The user has nine alone system substitute that user with respect. You still have to address their concerns. You still have to file a ticket whether it be in the backlog or an actual ticket like. That's still input that you have to decide so having empathy for users is extremely important even when you don't want to hear what they have to say like if you're a very busy on something else that interrupters the last than you have time for but you also have to understand that that user still matters they may not be your primary user. They may not be used. That you even want to use your product but at the same time they're user anyone has access so you have to treat them as such a now. What sheriff voice you give them and how you know how you prioritize their needs. That's a different activity But again i think having that empathy. I'm able to scale that across across the board and understand people's motivations really bring it back to the product making sure that decisions are being made for the you know the whole of the product. We're trying to moving forward leading with that lens in an by my last trick. If all of that fails. I've always found donuts. Good solution. I will always reference. A doughnut must donuts. Ask about donuts Currently have one of my clients. Every friday and our presentation we do a status. I put a different donut photo in every a client status just to kind of keep it. It's a highlight. it's a hallmark. I feel like i'm serving value. But i digress. I feel like there's a euphemism that people will hold onto if like there's a record on the Whenever a requirement comes in this really just like not necessary right now. The interrupted the raccoon on the porch. Or i would have This lovely woman i. I don't want to give her actual name. I pray that she still fine. She would call every single night at eight o'clock on nine one one and she would just cry and a clearly. There was some mental fragility. There she would tell you stories from the forties and fifties in her life and things and she would just be sobbing. I think missing family. Or what have you and all she wanted you to do was tell her that you loved her and she would say thank you good night and then she would go to you hear from her until eight o'clock the next afternoon so that user also exists so your regular user that just has a very self service very easy to solve problem even though it's on repeat so that's also a different type of user. So what are some at the other ways in which he noticed. Similarities synergies between at products at nine one. I think with her. I have to answer this in a different a couple of different ways here. I think where they're different is what i really liked about nine. One one was the unplanned chaos. There will be some nights where you would work for twelve hours. You would take one breath. It was sheer panic. Sheer terror and like just. The worst of the worst things could happen. But you couldn't wait to go do it again tomorrow. And so that's that's the same for me like i can't wait to make product decisions tomorrow. I'm excited to know. What are we solving. How can we fix this problem. So it's a different level of anxiety. Admittedly the different level of of temperature. Like like i said no one's dying but but you know making decisions in actually collaborating on something in solving a user's needs through some action at. You're taking it doesn't have to be a critical episode. It could be a very small user feature but really working through with your teammates and your client team truly understand the best way making a decision that maybe someone else couldn't see or a pattern that doesn't exist that you're working to strive for clarity on like for me. That's the same thing you're you're at the end of the day. You're helping your users by providing some clarity or some service that they can then be enabled to get help. Find clarity whatever it might be for them. So something else. I've noticed That's a bit of overlap. Is Back when i did. My very brief. Stint people had to find coping mechanisms of how to deal with the stress of doing their job. And i meet a lot of product managers who feel the same way you know that that all the responsibility on the power problem of representing things but certainly being able to to drive. Everything are there. Is there anything he's learned about. How the distress. Just you know how to turn off at the daily. Leave the job after job. I think that was the most important thing again is a nineteen year old working at nine one one. I heard the literal worst of humanity. And i heard people in their darkest time of need and i took that home a lot. I took those voices home. I took those actions home. I took that that home with me. At some point you have to stop. You have to realize that you've done your best you major decisions. You provided the hell. You've you've answered that so for me. In product decisions get still lead with. No one's dying today. Like that is a thing that i get to say. Because with my product decisions no one is going to die whereas before. That wasn't always a certainty. There was a very real chance that someone was going to die. When i was doing my job. Not for lack of anything untoward. Just that's the nature of that type of work so for me really understanding at the end of the day. The worst thing that could happen is your feature doesn't work. Your website doesn't launch. It's okay it isn't it isn't ideal clients might be mad. Your team might be disappointed. There might be some financial issues that your company has to deal with but it's at the end of the day it's a website it's a feature. It's you can log in jira in it tomorrow. So i think just keeping it really honest to yourself with how relevant that needs to feel. Yeah you can be yourself up for making a bad mistake. I think you should learn from mistakes. But i don't think you should take it home with you. I don't think you should be thinking about it tomorrow. i think instead of dwelling on it. How do you fix it the next time. How do you fix it right now. How do you learn from this. I think actually sitting with that understanding. Like how. How would i handle. The situation. differently is what i try to do. Sometimes it takes a minute if old that were human. We all have that But i think really focusing on the positive and what you can learn how you can be better prepared to hell that next time because again no one's dying. Is it as simple as that. I mean in terms of you. Put it in context. You make a decision and you give yourself permission to relapse once in a while but try and get better or is there are other things like doing education doing other things that really make a difference as well short while my first coping strategy is definitely doughnuts. I think i've mentioned.

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