Author Archives: Natasha Awasthi

About Natasha Awasthi

Natasha Awasthi is a Product Management Instructor at GA. She is a data monster by education, business designer by profession, and a creative writer who invented a boring Twitter handle. She artfully untangles messy problems by discovering unexpected patterns--in behavior, processes, and technology -- and occasionally she writes what she learned from them.

12 Lessons From 12 Months of Teaching at General Assembly

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Natasha (bottom left) with her Product Management students.

Natasha (bottom, farthest left) with her Product Management students.

Like any self-respecting teenager, I had vowed to be different from my elders. My mother and her three sisters have glittering careers in education. After ten years in tech, I now practice the craft my younger version was adamant to avoid: I moonlight as an instructor at General Assembly.

This side-gig, that started as mild experiment, has become a full-blown passion. I have been at our New York campus every month since I joined the instructional team a year ago. Below is a round-up of 12 lessons I learned from 12 months of preaching product management to five classes.

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In Defense of Product Documentation

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Project-Management-Best-Practices

A decade ago when I started my career in product management, most tech shops gave this role an ambiguous label like consultant or analyst. At the time, besides being a source of an existential crisis my job description had two other problems: I couldn’t explain it to my mother, and it involved authoring specifications – the kind that made its author and readers want to die!

Now, most tech teams either include a product manager or are wondering if they need to. And while my mom still doesn’t get what I do, she is generally pleased that my title says “manager” of something. Also the artifacts that product managers need to produce have evolved to match the personality of the creative people who are typically attracted to this profession. (More on this in a forthcoming post.)

Still, on many days, I have to sit at my desk for hours.

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Tension At Work? Maybe You Should You Hug It Out

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Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

On national hug day – yes, there is such a thing, it seems appropriate to visit the touchy subject of invading a colleague’s personal space.

Conflicts at work not only mess with our heads but also our immune systems —making us easy targets for infections during these stressful times. Researchers have accumulated substantial evidence to back this theory (increased stress= increased risk to your immune system).

At the same time, they have found that people who feel supported during periods of strain are protected from its negative impact on health.

And yet, what behaviors demonstrate care and concern? Dear huggers, you may be onto something.

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How to Get Noticed at Work? Become More Fascinating

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Social_Design_Search_for_Self

Are you struggling to get noticed at work? Stuck in a mode of fear and self-doubt leading to silly mistakes and miscommunications? In a recent interview, Sally Hogshead, the author of the #1 WSJ Best Seller of How the World Sees You offered a few tips on discovering what makes you distinctly valuable to others, so you can foster your natural strengths and communicate more effectively in your work and personal life.

Her unexpected insights on why some people succeed emerge from decades of advertising for the world’s most well-loved brands. She spent the first half of her career as a copywriter where she discovered “when a brand has the perfect words to describe itself, it becomes more valuable and admired.” She promises that her new book will do the same for her readers.

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