The secret recipe of a people-pleasing production director

Article Ten’s Production Director turns reluctant blogger in her first (and possibly last) ever blog


I hate writing long pieces of prose. So when our Head Writer, Ellie Hubble, requested that I write a blog for the Article Ten site about my role as a Production Director and beyond, I ignored her. But fast forward into the new year and she has successfully worn me down. I find myself reluctantly hunched over a computer to pen this piece. And this moment right now leads me into the first crucial skill you need in a role like mine. A skill that I use to traverse my world every day.

The power of people pleasing

There. I said it. I am a people pleaser. The bigger the smile on someone’s face, the happier I am. If I can make a happy client even happier or turn an angry/ frustrated client into a relatively happy one; that to me is a win. That does not mean letting a client take advantage of me, my team, or the business I work for…but simply using my professionalism, organisation and motivational skills, as well as persuasion, to bring people onside. (On that note, I hope Ellie really appreciates this blog!)

Personable problem-solving, never personal

Having the ability to not take anything too personally (I’ve been called emotionally devoid more than once), and not taking no for an answer while being highly personable, is a whole skillset in itself. (If anyone disagrees about me being highly personable, I understand and won’t take it personally!)

Don’t get me wrong though. If my colleagues and I have truly exhausted all of the potential solutions to an issue then that’s fine, I’ll admit defeat. But not before that. Oh, and I am more than happy to buy lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks for anyone willing to join in those all-important brainstorms that may take place out of hours (see – that’s the personable bit) but I will expense it… (and there’s the emotionally devoid bit!)

Communication is the golden skill

It might sound extremely boring, but the key skill for this demanding role above all else is my ability to communicate with people at all levels, and within different roles. No matter how good I may be at managing projects through their life cycle, strategic planning, organising the ATen resources, adapting my skills to execute cross discipline projects or working with a variety of clients; if I didn’t have the ability to effectively communicate the necessary information to the right people in the correct way, then I’d be in a bit of a pickle. It helps that I really enjoy working with different people, and especially my lovely Article Ten colleagues (even Ellie included).

A recipe for success

In my humble opinion, being an effective Production Director means bringing together a mix of skills that work together to bring this multifaceted role to life.

Ingredient one, be an arse lick – I mean, people pleaser. Two? Ensure you are emotionally devoid. (Well not really, just thick-skinned.) Three? Never take no for an answer. Four? Aggressively do these first three things while also being really nice all the time, just to confuse people. Five? Communicate, communicate, communicate. And six? Love what you do every day.