Being a good listener makes you a better PM. 💪 But: being a Product Manager (or UX researcher) can make you a better listener 👂Here's an example, a short story about my grandma:
In a recent conversation with my grandmother, she complained:
"Everyone thinks, when you're old, you can just relax and enjoy your time. But nowadays, I have some kind of appointment almost every day - it's exhausting!"
My first reaction was to think that she was just not resilient anymore and therefore stressed by simple appointments like food being delivered.
But then, I paused. I didn't want to go with this easy explanation and dismiss her feelings.
I wanted to find out more about the underlying problem and learn more about her feelings. So I kept asking why it felt stressful and what's really causing her to complain.
I found out, that it's not so much about the appointment per se, but about the waiting times and uncertainty. The care giver arrives between 7 and 10 am on certain days. So she gets up early, doesn't start anything like breakfast (because she might be interrupted), and waits. Same with the lunch: the food gets delivered between 11 am and 1 pm. Sometimes even earlier. At least, the doctor mostly keeps his promises and arrives during the 60 minutes which he announced to her.
So the real problem is that she feels like people (or the system) do not respect/value her time anymore. Everyone thinks "it doesn't really matter, she's at home anyways."
I don't know if there is anything we can change for the better here, but by understanding the core of her problem, I could empathize with her — and I think it helped that I gave her my attention and *really* listened to her.
With this story, I want to suggest that you take this input with you and in the next conversations that you have, remember to dig deeper, resist hasty conclusions — and find the underlying needs, motivation, and problems of the person you’re talking to.
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Gute Geschichte, vielen Dank dafür. Ich mag es, dass wir unsere Fähigkeiten aus Job und Leben immer wieder neu transferieren können.