It’s all too common for product professionals to dread feeling like an imposter in a room full of experts and stakeholders. In this Sunday Rewind, we look back to when Rik Higham, Staff Product Manager at Deliveroo, led a talk on this difficulty, and that if you’re not feeling like an imposter, then you’re probably doing something wrong…
In his talk at ProductTank Edinburgh, he explains how it is common to feel alienated in a product management role. How do you lead a team and make the best decisions? His key takeaway was that you’re not expected to know everything.
The best way to help you and your team progress is to stop thinking about failure or success and to start working out how you can learn together.
In addition, he explains that no matter how much of an expert you are, you will always encounter new experiences. There will always be something that comes up from nowhere and makes you realise how exposed you are. The only way forward in these situations is to focus on what you know, trust you have the skills, and carry on. You may never have been in this exact situation before, but you will have seen similar ones, and everything worked out fine.
As a product manager, Rik says to listen to what people are saying and look for better questions. The sciences have long focused on using questions to explore problems and the way forward. You can use them to break things down, peel off layers and ultimately work out the underlying issue you’re trying to solve.