Empathy, the five-whys analysis and zoom-out
For the first time, I am writing a newsletter. If you don't want to receive emails from me, feel free to click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.
I will get straight to the point and share my realizations and learnings this week that may be useful to you.
Why is empathy the #1 skill that one should have?
Over the years, right from building small pieces of CLI tools to designing high fidelity wireframes; building high-functional teams to creating a profitable business, I have realized that empathy is the #1 skill that anyone should have.
It's apparent that empathy makes a better person. It makes us kind and polite. But there is more -
If you are a software engineer or a designer, by putting yourself into the users' shoes, you start to care about them; you put their perspective and problems first, resulting in building better products.
If you are a manager, thinking from the team members' point-of-view makes people on the team comfortable, which builds bond and trust in the team.
I can give umpteen examples of empathy working in business and personal and professional relationships, leading to a happier and contentful life.
But at the end of the day, empathy is not the only thing you need to get along. While it makes us great human beings, matching it with the right amount of IQ does wonders.
Next up, the Five-whys analysis saved my ass this week.
This week, we had a massive project that was falling apart. The client was continually raising concerns about our technical incompetencies and how they needed more senior devs on the team.
You might have heard of the five-whys analysis where you get to the root cause of the problem by asking successive "Why?". I did the same and realized that the devs had excellent technical skills, and the root problem was not what it looked like from the surface. I realized that it wasn't a technical problem at all. We failed to build trust and care within the team members for each other, for the cause and for the solution that we were building.
Zoom-out once in a while
Sometimes, I spend hours to name variables (please don't do it) but then there are times when I ask myself questions like "what am I building this", "would it even solve the problem?", "what's the bigger picture here?".
I always tell newbie devs about zooming out once in a while. For example, when we are coding, we focus on the line of code, but when we link different functions and modules, all we care about is the input and output between those functions. It's much like looking at maps; we zoom into some area, we care about the streets in that area but zoom out when we want to look at the city and find out how that area connects to other parts of the city.
I think that's enough gyan for now! 😅 It gets boring if we overdo it.
I did some random things on the side to keep myself excited. This week, I got my studio set up; the dream that I couldn't live at 18 is finally happening. Here is a little sneak peek.
I am also excited about the experiments and projects that I am working on. You can find out more about it here.
See you in the next newsletter! ✌️