Product Management Superpower: Poker Face

Since I am on a roll lately, one additional superpower is to have the ability to remain emotion free when someone says something completely insane in your presence. This is boss-level coping

Product Management Superpower: Poker Face
Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

I saw a tweet a while back that asked for the various faces Product Managers make:

And that got me thinking. My response was:

the classic. I was trying to convey a “Resting Bitch Face” vibe, but in the end, it really isn’t, as RBF is showing an attitude, and what is called for is stony, and a poker face.

The formal definition:

Clearly, this is a huge product manager strength. You will often find yourself in a meeting with a stakeholder and they will advocate for something that is just batshit insane. A feature that is ludicrous, or a capability that literally nobody (and you have reams of data from customer surveys and discussions backs up) wants, just because they know that it will make your product epic.

You keep your poker face, you commit to adding it to the (bottom of the) backlog knowing that it will never surface above the cut line.

Sure, you can do things like tell them that you will have to weigh it against your top features, and convince them that you are taking it seriously, when in fact you really want to bust out in guffaws about how stupid their idea is.

If you don’t have or develop a good poker face, you will likely have trouble longer term as a product  manager.


My original thought around the RBF was the epic RBF that Cara Delavigne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. While I am exercising my poker face, I have the vision of her in my mind.