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First step onto the stage

I am gonna tell you a secret. I don't like to do customer interviews. Yes, I know. After some many articles when I say it's the most important part of PMs job - I personally don't like to do them. Until I am actually doing them.

I don't like the hassle of scheduling the meeting. Before it happens I am worried and not awfully comfortable. What if I am distracting the person? What if I am wasting their time? What if I ask something wrong? Or what if I'll not learn anything new?

Those feelings before customer interviews reminded me of another experience from my adolescent days. I was part of the amateur theatre group at my school. I loved the experience. The rehearsals, the dynamic and the energy of the group. But before stepping onto a stage I had similar feelings of anxiety and hesitation. What if I forget my lines? What if I make the wrong move? What if the audience wouldn't react? Those thoughts were in my head every time before stepping onto the stage. But surprisingly, all those worries were disappearing completely when I was taking this first step onto the stage. As soon as an audience could see me - all my thoughts were on my acting.

Same with customer interviews now. As soon as the meeting actually starts all the worries disappear and I try to make the whole experience enjoyable for everyone involved. I just need to start, to take this first step onto the stage.

The psychology behind it is interesting and complex. But today I just wanted to say that if you don't like a certain part of your job, like customer interviews, maybe still push yourself to take the first step onto the stage. And maybe you'll like it in the process.

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