Empathy

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is very important to success in life - personal and professional. No doubt about it anymore and some will argue it is even much more important than IQ.

One EI muscle I’m constantly trying to train in my professional-life is Empathy, or the ability to place yourself in someone else's shoes and look at the world from their point of view. And boy, the amount of views I change on a daily basis...

  • I look at my product from the eyes of the buyer and end-user (average, power-user, etc.), thinking “what value it brings to me?”, “why should I use it?”, “how can I use it?” and so on.

  • On a higher perspective, look at it from the eyes of the CEO andManagement thinking “why building this product?”, “why not other products?”, “how this helps the company strategy and direction?” and “why now”?

  • While building the product I'm looking at it from the eyes of Engineering and constantly do my cost-effective calculations.

  • Sales and Account Management point of view is very important as to how they can sell this product and how it will correspond with the other products they are trying to sell.

  • And I'm not forgetting Support team or Operations and their point of view on things as important stakeholder in the product’s life cycle.

Our challenge here, as Product Managers, is that we do think about these questions while we design/build our products and we try to answer them, but we sometimes do it from our own point of view and not from the persona they really relate to.

As a product manager I can think of good answers to "how we can sell this", but if this is not the way the sales person actually sees things and leads the sale-cycle then I'm doing it wrong. This is even more substantial when I answer the question of "what is the value proposition of this product" from my own eyes and completely miss the customers' point of view and what they look for in such product.


The fact that someone is trying to imitate all these different eyeballs while managing the product life-cycle, is to me Product Management Essence and most crucial to product success.

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