At some point in your product career, you’re going to piss someone off. It will be unavoidable. Hopefully it will not have been the result of, say, supergluing a pound coin to the desktop of your alpha sales guy. It might be a customer who’s annoyed with you, perhaps because of an otherwise well-intentioned change to your product. Is this a problem? Not yet. Let me explain why.
Contrary to what you may think, most of product management is actually selling. You are continually selling new product concepts, ideas for improvement as well as pitches for projects. What you may not realise is that what most people think is selling isn’t actually selling.
“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares?… He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes.”
Empathy is something every product manager needs to be able to do their job well. Without it, it’s impossible to be sure what matters most to your target market and how valuable a solution to their problems will be.