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The Product Management Blog

Tips and Free Resources to become a Great Product Manager
Tips and Free Resources to become a Great Product Manager

Leading with Emotional Intelligence by former Nokia Product Manager

Being at the intersection between design, engineering and business as a Product Manager means interacting with others. A lot. And a big part of being a PM is spent leading others – designers, engineers, other PMs, data scientists, you name it. Getting them to support your vision or execute as part of that can be challenging. And this is where empathy comes into play and being able to put yourself in the others’ shoes, see situations from their perspective and try to understand what they might be feeling or going through.

Ira Frimere talked to us about the importance of emotional intelligence in Product Management and how to be an effective emotional leader.



Former Product Manager at Nokia

As the VP of Product at Acclaro, Ira Frimere leads the research, design and development of next-generation translation and localization solutions. Ira has diverse experience in product management, quality assurance and digital technology from companies such as Nokia and Gartner. He is well versed in the challenges faced by both new and experienced Product Managers.

Ira studied at SUNY Binghamton where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. When he’s not working on new product initiatives, he enjoys spending time with his family and cheering for the NY Mets and Jets.


Emotionally Intelligent Leader

This talk introduced aspiring Product Managers into the emotional ups and downs of Product Management and how to keep pushing forward. 

The main points Ira discussed were being emotionally aware of yourself and others when managing product and handling emotions around what it all comes with – market failures and wins. Most importantly, he talked to us about how you can lead successfully with emotional intelligence.

A Good Emotional Leader by former Nokia Product Manager


In a nutshell:

  • Emotional intelligence is the ability to
    • Recognize not only your own emotions but also those of others.
    • Discern between different feelings and label them appropriately.
    • Use emotional intelligence to guide thinking and behavior.
    • Manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goals.
  • When you start in a company as a Product Manager
    • You will be:
      • Inquisitive/Confident/Confused/Eager to impress.
    • Others could be:
      • Stressed/Concerned/Change-resistant/Risk-averse.
  • Be considerate when you say something could be wrong with the company or product. The company or product is always somebody’s baby, and nobody wants to hear that their baby isn’t pretty.
  • When doing the first launch in the new company
    • You will be:
      • Excited/Nervous/Looking for praise (you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it.)
    • Others could be:
      • Critical/Negative/Hoping for failure.
  • “Be the leader but be subtle about it.”
  • When facing failures
    • You will be:
      • Deflated/Stressed/Disappointed.
    • Others could be:
      • Watching/Judging/Waiting.
  • Handling success
    • You will be:
      • Energized/Proud/Rewarded.
    • Others could be:
      • Watching/Judging/Waiting.
  • “When the team loses, it’s on the leader – they failed. When they win, it was the team.”
  • Product Management tips:


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