What makes Sherlock Holmes impressive is his ability to walk into a room, survey the layout, ask a few questions & then accurately portray what happened.

And then he throws a little shade by calling it "elementary".

Note: The crucial part of this deductionary exercise is intake.

Consuming all the facts & attempting to find missing pieces.

The rare times that Sherlock is found reeling is when he misses to gather or appropriately interpret a certain detail.

In other words, he's all about elite observation skills.

We, as Product Managers, on the other hand, barely have the acumen of the great detective.

However, it's pretty easy to measure how our observation skills are.

How?

When doing a customer interview, see who's doing most of the talking.

Ugly:

You're delivering a constant monologue. Just because they're nodding doesn't mean you're doing great.

Bad:

You're letting them talk but you interrupt them, get defensive and ultimately dominate the convo till you have the last word.

What's better?

You're asking open-ended questions, letting them describe their problem at length. You're just chiming in with clarifications and nudging them to unpack certain areas.

Remember - Sherlock listens to the facts.

That's the least we can do as PMs.