Empathy is at the heart of business analysis

People don’t see what you see.

They don’t know what you know.

They don’t believe what you believe.

It’s true, but often we forget this.

Consensus-bias is when we incorrectly think that everyone else will agree with us—and it can lead us to overvalue our own viewpoint.

Everyone has insight from their perspective.

Everyone thinks that they’re right, and that their problems are a priority and misunderstood by others.

Everyone fears change in some way. And everyone realises that they also need to change.

Everyone has an idea to make things better, to offer a solution and to give recommendations.

Everyone wishes for a requirement that they can’t have. And if they could have it, they’d discover it’s not what they really needed.

Everyone feels alone, uncertain, and a bit of an imposter. And everyone cares about the work that they do.

As a business analyst, then, you have little chance of forcing business analysis on others, in insisting that they get with your project, that they realise how hard you’ve worked, how much insight you have, how important the change is…

It’s so much more productive to engage with them instead.