In the last post we talked about where product managers run into conflicts and what some of the root causes for those conflicts are. In this post we will take a look at some tools I have found to be useful when working on conflict resolutions.
Leave Your Emotions at the Door
The quickest way to escalate a tense situation is to let your emotions control your actions. So many things can go wrong if you go into a confrontation feeling intense emotions such as embarrassment, anger, or fear.
When I have to have difficult conversations with people who I feel have wronged me, I sometimes have these emotions stirring inside. It is important to keep these feelings from influencing the things I do or say so that I don’t negatively impact my team.
To accomplish this, I will often step outside and focus on my breathing while walking around the building. Continue reading
One of the less enjoyable roles of being a product champion is dealing with people who are not happy either with you, your team, or your product. It does not take very long playing this game before you will find yourself in some embroiled misunderstanding. Working in the construction industry, I have often encountered that big hairy foreman who has no problem getting in my face when things are not going well. Conflict resolution has been essential for keeping my product development efforts from getting derailed over a misunderstanding.
What conflicts arise in a Project Management Role?
Customers. If you did a real bang up job during your research and development phase as well as working with your focus groups, you might have avoided those bumps during the first release of the product. If not, get ready to take care of some frustrated customers (which you absolutely must do if you want to stay in business).