Something I’ve observed over the years:
Product Managers who always win real-time debates about product issues — with their quips, eloquent arguments, bulletproof analogies & metaphors — tend to build surprisingly mediocre products, with mediocre outcomes.
This tendency of Gifted Great Debaters (GGD) has a few adverse effects:
- It falsely grows GGD's confidence about being right
- It shrinks GGD's team members’ self-confidence
- It can drain team members’ energy to a point that they often just choose not to speak up
How to deal with this if you're a GGD?
- Reframe the point of the product debate in your head. It isn’t to win. It isn’t even to get your arguments heard
- The point of a product debate is for you to seek counterarguments
- Ask questions rather than making definitive statements
How to deal with this when working with a GGD?
- Send GGD a link to this thread 😀
- Ask GGD to make a compelling case for the opposite of their stance. Create a norm that no decision can be made without that
- Get more time. Create some space between the debate & the decision
And perhaps the most important tactic of all:
Have fewer 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘣𝘢𝘭 discussions about important issues.
𝘞𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 instead of 𝘛𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨.
Writing creates rigor.
A few related points from the Good PM, Great PM thread:
You can follow @shreyas.
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.
Enjoy Threader? Sign up.
Since you’re here...
... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.