One of the biggest challenges that many new product managers face is that they want to make sure that they’re making a good impression on their stakeholders, and they don’t want to say “no” to any request coming in. They don’t want to be viewed as a blocker of progress or as an unsympathetic ear that only does what they want, come hell or high water.
Similarly, one of the biggest challenges that established product managers face is the realization that with limited resources, limited time, and limited patience, the company expects far more from the product and the product manager than they can ever deliver. And these unreasonable expectations only get worse as more and more people push for more and more features.
But I’m here to tell you, there’s a way to manage expectations and to turn down the opportunities that others present to you without coming off as a dictator or as a blockade to getting things done. That is the art of saying “no” without every actually saying “no”.