The Key to Success as a Product Manager: Mastering Emotional Reasoning and Continuous Learning


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 13, 2023

3 min read


The Key to Success as a Product Manager: Mastering Emotional Reasoning and Continuous Learning


Being a successful product manager requires a combination of various skills and qualities. From staying updated on the latest project management techniques to mastering technical and design methodologies, the ability to learn new things is vital. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the impact of emotional reasoning on decision-making. In this article, we will explore the difference between successful and unsuccessful product managers, the dangers of emotional reasoning, and actionable advice to overcome it.

The Difference Between Successful and Unsuccessful Product Managers:

The success of a product manager is determined by their ability to adapt and learn continuously. While knowledge and expertise are important, they should not be stagnant. Successful product managers have a growth mindset and actively seek out new knowledge and skills. They understand that the field of product management is constantly evolving and that they must stay updated to stay ahead.

On the other hand, unsuccessful product managers tend to rely on outdated knowledge and resist change. They are hesitant to learn new techniques or explore innovative approaches. This lack of adaptability can hinder their ability to make informed decisions and drive successful product outcomes.

The Danger of Emotional Reasoning:

Emotional reasoning is a cognitive process that involves using emotions as evidence or proof, even when they are not aligned with objective reality. This can lead to inaccurate conclusions and decisions that are not based on factual information. Emotional reasoning was first identified by psychiatrist Aaron Beck in the 1970s and is often associated with automatic thinking.

Automatic thoughts, which are relevant to our state of mind, can impact our overall performance. Negative thought cycles can lead to increased anxiety, difficulty focusing, making mistakes, and a decline in productivity. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, reinforcing negative thoughts and hindering success.

Actionable Advice to Overcome Emotional Reasoning:

  • 1. Practice Validity Testing: Validity testing involves seeking objective evidence to validate or invalidate a belief or thought. When you catch yourself engaging in emotional reasoning, take a step back and search for objective evidence to support or challenge that belief. By consciously questioning your emotional reasoning, you can make more informed decisions.
  • 2. Write in a Journal: Journaling is an effective way to become aware of your thought patterns and emotions. By recording difficult situations and the emotions or thoughts they provoke, you can reflect on your natural thought patterns. This awareness allows you to identify when emotional reasoning is influencing your decision-making process and reject negative thoughts before they take hold.
  • 3. Discuss Your Emotions: Sometimes, it can be challenging to accurately assess our performance when we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. In such situations, seeking an objective perspective can be helpful. Engage in open conversations with trusted colleagues or friends to gain insights and a fresh viewpoint. Their feedback can provide valuable guidance and help you overcome emotional reasoning.


Being a successful product manager requires a combination of continuous learning and emotional intelligence. By staying updated on the latest industry trends and techniques, while also being aware of and actively addressing emotional reasoning, product managers can make better decisions and drive successful outcomes. Remember to practice validity testing, write in a journal to identify thought patterns, and seek objective perspectives from trusted individuals. By implementing these actionable steps, you can pave the way for success as a product manager.

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