A common situation that product managers experience is currently being confused with many requests and a neverending backlog. To control your workload and sanity, we think that it can be important at times to say no at occasions to your stakeholders, but what’s the ideal way to do this in a specialist fashion? This Sunday Rewind we seem back to when Holly Donohue, Chief Product Officer at Purple provided a guide on how to say no more frequently.

Holly explains that when anyone tells you their thought, handle it like you are receiving a important gift. They have used a very long time crafting an suitable answer. In your contributor’s planet, this notion solves a person of their biggest pains. When indicating no to an notion, it is critical to 1st devote time admiring the wrapping, looking through the present tag and diligently eradicating the paper. Consider to glance delighted with receiving the contents, even while the gift list was disregarded.

To support us embrace this analogy of saying no, Holly offers a framework with keys to solidify in our everyday practices:

Pay attention actively

Ask the requestor to clarify the strategy in their very own phrases, even if you’re now common with it. Some handy phrases contain “help me to understand…”, “could you walk me through…”, “remind me…”.

Locate the benefit

Request clarifying questions to assure you comprehend the price the alter would provide. Find out who will be impacted by the adjust and the issue it solves.


Summarising is a potent software to exhibit that you’ve understood what the other man or woman has stated. It’s specially important if there has been a split since the very last dialogue with your stakeholder. Summarising means you emphasize the important details of what has been said in your very own words and phrases, devoid of altering the that means.

Describe and portray

Talk to the best contributor to confirm regardless of whether your portrayal of the information tallies with their knowing. By carrying out this, you check with them to agree that you have correctly represented the advantages their thought could provide. Verify no matter whether you have missed anything.

When you say no, prevent indicating “I”. It is significant that this is not your belief but primarily based on investigate and data results.

Browse ‘A product manager’s guidebook to expressing no’ in full, or delve into much more parts in our Sunday Rewind series!


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