Professional Relationship Building

How to Use Empathy to Build Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker There’s one skill that every wildly successful product manager, UX designer, businessperson, and leader has in common. It helps them unite teams and ship products that customers love time and time again. What could possibly unite all these technologists? It’s conscious and deliberate empathy. Most people believe empathy is just about being compassionate, like lending your friend a shoulder to cry on when they’re going through a breakup. Others dismiss it altogether as a distraction, because they believe it’s more important to be ... Read more

This Is No Joking Matter

By Poornima Vijayashanker As you know today is April 1st aka April Fools' Day, but I’m not here to tell you a joke or to play a prank on you. I want to highlight a series of incidents that have been going on for awhile. You might already be aware of these incidents... … and you might be sick of them. … or you might just be unaware of them, because you’ve been heads down or you’re new to the scene. Each year, slowly, more and more ... Read more

Stuck in your Career? Here’s a Tip that May Scare You

By Karen Catlin It's happened to all of us. A promotion denied. Feeling stuck in our careers. Frustrated by the recognition others get while we're working just as hard, if not more. At some point, you decided you had to change something to push forward your career. Maybe you started blogging or tweeting. Perhaps you started building more relationships with people at work. Now you're ready to do even more to increase your professional visibility. As scary as it seems, you know what ... Read more

Stop Being Serious ALL the Time

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s been a really fun two weeks at Femgineer! Karen and I have been filming lessons for our upcoming Confident Communicator Course. And in case you’re curious about how much fun we’re having, well I’ve included a few funny pics from our sessions together. Once we’re done filming all the lessons, I’m definitely going to get to work on the a blooper reel to share with students in the course. Now it’s not all fun and games at Femgineer… OK it’s like ... Read more

Stop Speculating and Start Speaking Up

By Poornima Vijayashanker One of my mentees, Ada, reached out to me last year, and mentioned that there was a new opportunity to head the new mobile division in her company. She really wanted to do it: mobile meant everything to her. Ada is like Penny from Inspector Gadget, she has a smart watch, a smartphone (both Android and iOS), an iPad, and yes even her dog had been chipped! She spends her nights and weekends building apps and refining them. When her ... Read more

What to Do When You Just Can’t Find the Right Words to Respond

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve got a TON to share this week about my latest trip to Chile! You’re probably wondering, “Why did she pick Chile?” Great question! I had 2 reasons. The first reason was that last year I had a pretty busy summer, I was writing my first book, and working part time as an EIR at 500 Startups. It was a really productive summer, and was happy because I had found flow. But I couldn’t help but feel like I had missed out on ... Read more

The Art of Micro-Mentoring

By Karen Catlin Today’s guest post is from Karen Catlin, a Femgineer contributor, leadership coach, and advisor advocating for women in the Tech Industry. As you carve your unique career path—and maybe even take the leap to build your own tech product—you’ll benefit greatly from mentors who can help you course-correct, pull through through tough times, and celebrate your successes. But maybe you don’t have a formal mentor, or don’t want one. In this post, Karen shows you a unique way to get ... Read more

The Right Way to Practice Empathy

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week we aired the pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team. During the episode, Ben Congleton, and I talked about a number of misconceptions people have when it comes to running a remote team. Ben also shared some strategies for tackling each misconception. My favorite was the conversation around the misconception that a remote team will be devoid of culture and people just won’t care about one another. Ben gave us a great ... Read more

How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I received an amazing set of responses from readers like you on the topic of Handling the Anxiety that Accompanies Ambition. Don’t worry I will continue to write more on the topic! I appreciate those of you who opened up by emailing me and leaving comments about what you had been through. Supporting each other definitely helps, and is a necessary component to staying creative and innovative! Yesterday I shot a live pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to ... Read more

Popular vs Effective Leadership Styles

By Poornima Vijayashanker The new year is in full swing, and you’ve probably got some new projects on your plate. Or maybe you have some loose-ends to tie up from last year? If you’re eager to push things forward, then you might be thinking about how to lead your teammates, get them motivated, out of holiday mode, and get things done! You might even be tempted to just command your teammates, using a directive style of leadership, a la Steve Jobs. I’ve always been ... Read more
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