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The Right Time for Not Knowing

Building organizations and products through questions

· leadership,technology,product,better business

I am currently heading up product & strategy at Bitsian, a Crypto Tech Startup in New York City that aims to make crypto simple enough that anyone can participate in the future. This privilege means I work with a fun team of folks to build things for people to use. The experience has been a learning curve.

We're a multigenerational bunch coming from a range of disciplines.

I get a kick out of seeing the different ways we approach problems and feel especially stretched in learning how to communicate impactfully across those oceans. Our differences make us unique. That we're open to tussling with those difference is to our benefit. One of the learnings that I've taken away most is a deep appreciation for asking questions or approaching things just to learn.

I've seen some of my partners model this behavior and appreciated that a great deal. Modeled, it looks like asking questions that you might have an inkling of and sitting patient to listen to how another person sees or experiences the answer. I think this behavior is especially important in building things that are relational: products, relationships, machines. If there's a feedback loop or a cause/effect action, listening intently from a beginners mind matters a lot.

Sometimes folks are uncomfortable not knowing or being wrong. Being right is overvalued. I'd rather be wrong and build things than be right and keep my ego in tact. There are some spaces where we shouldn't feign not having the answer--where it actually matters more than we do know and can show why we are an SME. This is something I'm also gaining too--sometimes approaching situations with a beginners mindset and questions to go alongside it can be counterproductive.

It a learning curve for so many reasons, but I'm excited to be facilitating and engaging customers daily to figure out what they want. When I'm in those conversations my learner hat will always be on. I'd rather build things that work.

Here's my TEDx, The Uncertainty Paradox if you'd like more ideas and narrative on dancing with uncertainty.