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Empathy and Product Management

One of the aspects of being a Product Manager is to carry out responsibility without authority. While the Product Manager is accountable and responsible for the success of a product, none of the people involved in actually making it a success - developers, data scientists, designers, researchers - report to them.

In order to ensure that everyone is doing their best to push the product forward, the Product Manager cannot resort to some of the tools that a people manager can.

Which places a lot of emphasis on being empathetic.

It is vital for product managers to empathise not just with the users for whom they build products, but also with the people that do the building. Because only through understanding where they come from, what is important to them and what really drives them can a Product Manager truly draw the best out of the team that they work with.

When I graduated from college, my social skills were sub-optimal to say the least. However, the years spent working as a Product Manager has certainly played it's part in turning me more empathetic, which is a trait that rubs off on the rest of my life as well.

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