Imposter syndrome with Amy Silvers & Lori Cavallucci

A transcript of Episode 227 of UX Podcast. James Royal-Lawson and Per Axbom talk to Lori Cavallucci and Amy Silvers to learn more about imposter syndrome – what is it and how it effects us.

Transcript

Per Axbom
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James Royal-Lawson
So, help support us podcast and the UX community by contributing financially to keep the show running, visit uxpodcast.com/support and contribute as much as you can.

Computer voice
UX podcast episode 227.

[Music]

Per Axbom
You’re listening to UX podcast coming to you from Stockholm, Sweden,

James Royal-Lawson
helping the UX community explore ideas and share knowledge since 2011.

Per Axbom
We are your hosts Per Axbom,

James Royal-Lawson
and James Royal-Lawson,

Per Axbom
with listeners in 190 countries from Latvia to Iceland.

James Royal-Lawson
from time to time we bring you a repeat show. This is an episode from our extensive back catalogue resurfacing some of the ideas and thoughts from the past that we believe are still relevant and well worth revisiting.

Per Axbom
And today, we are reposting Episode 106 a show from back in 2015. This is our interview with Lori Cavallucci and Amy Silvers where we learn all about imposter syndrome and how to deal with it. imposter syndrome. Let us know a bit more about what made you want to do that talk at the IA Summit and what type of responses you got from that.

Lori Cavallucci
For me, it’s something that I’ve grappled with for years. It’s just been something. I never knew what it was until I started reading about it. And I’m like, wow, that that’s me. There’s actually something for what I’ve been experiencing. And Amy and I’ve talked about lot about it over the years. She happens to have been she she cringes when I say this, but she happens to have been my my mentor who helped push me I needed someone to push me. I was holding myself back. And so it’s just it’s, it started off basically as a self study, like anything in psychology. It’s me search. So it’s the interest came from my own difficulties suffering with it through the years.

Amy Silvers
Yeah, I think Lori and I were had both been going through some career bumps, and I had maybe done a little bit more applying for jobs, then she had because she’d been a freelancer for a long time. And she was she was sort of looking around for things to apply to, but she kept saying things like, you know, well, I don’t have, I don’t I haven’t used Axure and they want Axure, or I don’t use, you know, this software tool and they want to I kept telling her, you know, nobody meets all of the qualifications for a job, just push yourself and go ahead and apply for things, even if they’re a little above your level.

And we talked about how much we both felt like frauds, like complete frauds, doing that kind of thing, like we weren’t really qualified to, to be applying for any UX jobs in spite of both having at that point, you know, several years experience, at least in the field. And it it kind of grew from there.

Per Axbom
Exactly. Actually, James was the one you’ve been talking to me, James, about doing this show about an imposter syndrome. But for over a year now, I think

James Royal-Lawson
it’s probably close to two years, but

Per Axbom
even even before you mentioned it to me the first time I actually didn’t know there was a name for it, because when you described it, and I realised, oh my god, I feel that all the time. I didn’t know there was a name for it.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah, I mean, I remember. I mean, occasionally you get those. For me anyway. I occasionally get those moments where people come out and say, I remember one situation when I was working at a clients and we’re having a conversation, now the coffee machine. And somebody just kind of brought up the fact that they were feeling nervous about doing a particular task in this project. And the conversation then snowballed pretty quickly and everyone is, I think there’s four of us around this coffee machine. All of us basically ended up saying to each other well, yeah, I think we all feel like that a lot of the time, feel like we were we were not good enough to do these jobs or not qualified to do them, or we’re not going to deliver what’s expected of us. And you get those moments where you realise that, well, I think probably everyone has their moments of feeling like an imposter and a fraud.

Per Axbom
Yeah. So what’s what’s really going on here? I mean, is this special for the field of UX? Because it seems like the UX especially as a field where there are so many new things and you don’t like you were saying There that there’s so many tools we need to know about. There’s so many things do I know about search engine optimization? Do I know about this advanced analytics as well? Don’t need to care about that. How much do I actually need to know to be a good UX designer? And that sort of is, of course contributes to that feeling of being an imposter, not having know, that holistic view of just everything that you need to know about. But has imposter syndrome been around always? And is it just something we’ve been afraid to talk about?

Amy Silvers
Yeah, I we can talk a little bit about the origin of the term. I’ll let Lori cover that and it was originally identity identified as a phenomenon among women in academia, PhDs, tenured professors who, at some fundamental level just doubted that they were even intelligent, much less qualified to do the work they were doing, but I think that was mostly putting a name to Something that that certainly every professional experiences and probably every human experiences or most humans experience, it’s actually the ones who don’t experience that that you have to worry about. And there’s a name for that syndrome too. It’s called the Dunning Kruger effect people who actually overestimate their qualifications and their own intelligence. But, but imposter syndrome, I think is very common among people who are high achieving. I can talk a little bit about whether it’s it whether it’s particularly prevalent in UX and and hypothesise about why. But I’ll let Lori give a little background on on the original the origin of the syndrome and the naming of it.

Lori Cavallucci
It was first diagnosed and high achieving women, by two women, they realise that it’s Something that high achieving women in this university were feeling and they did the study. Now, what we know now is that it’s not just women that suffer from it, it’s women and men, it’s, it tends to be people who, who really are high achievers and, and have high expectations of themselves and have achieved a lot that tend to feel it the most. And this was in the late 70s. And that was the first diagnosis and it was called imposter phenomenon. And it really was, it wasn’t well known. It wasn’t publicised. And I think, as Amy and I were exploring this, we found so many articles, people were just starting to come out about it and talk about it, because it’s something that they had been feeling and they realised that it’s not just them, it’s other people as well.

Amy Silvers
Yeah, and we actually did a survey, nonscientific survey, of people in the UX community and the percentages of people who agreed with all or part of the statements that we posed about feeling like an imposter in particular situations. Not only feeling like you’re not qualified but also feeling like you’re going to be discovered at any minute. You’re going to fall on your face and everyone is going to figure out you know, what, that you’ve been getting away with faking it all this time. And we discovered that almost everybody is 70 and 80% on almost all the the responses agreed with the statements and I

James Royal-Lawson
That’s a huge percentage

Amy Silvers
It’s staggering. And it it almost made me feel like you know if, if everyone has imposter syndrome, how important is it? Like, is it something we should just sort of acknowledge and get on with our lives and just sort of try to ignore it as best we can. But I think there are also, there are things that we can do to actively combat it that are probably a little healthier. But it does it makes you wonder a little, you know, if, if everybody has it, is that even really a syndrome? Or is it, is it just part of being human part of being a relatively successful human?

But I do think I think UX poses kind of some unique challenges for people who are prone to feeling like imposters because not only do we have all these different skills that we’re expected to have, but nobody defines what that skill set is in the same way no two people, much less two companies if you’re hiring managers define it In anything like the same way, and we have all these sort of standards that were held to all the time, but the standards keep shifting, and they’re nebulous and there’s no way to say, like in the talk, I give the example of architecture, physical architecture. I can look at a building that Frank Gehry designed and say, that’s a Frank Gehry building, but I can’t look at Frank Geary’s website and say, oh, seven, seven, design that website or, you know, his digital presence or whatever, I can’t, I can’t point to anything there. Because there aren’t really standards or objective criteria. There. We don’t share our work that actively a lot of the time, so it’s just kind of nebulous and, again, shifting all the time.

I remember, I think It’s the guy actually who’s behind the future of web design conference series who posted three or four years ago, he tweeted about UX design being a bullshit job title, UX designer, and I was like, oh, okay, then guess I’ll pack up my things and go home because my job is bullshit. And we get stuff like that all the time. You know, you have to know how to code you should never code, all this stuff, telling us how we should be. And and if you’re not doing this, you’re not really a UX designer. And that makes it very hard to feel any sort of sense that you you have mastery over your your skills over your job.

James Royal-Lawson
I’ll throw in as well that the the theory that with the work we do, every single project every single thing we end up doing is unique. So even though we have similarities and some of the task, you know, you, you might do a certain aspect of a technical wireframe or you might do it interview or something.

Per Axbom
user research,

James Royal-Lawson
user research,

Per Axbom
eye tracking tests.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah, you might do certain parts of the process again and again. But when it comes to the, the whole thing, the whole process, you know, every company you work with different every website’s different, every app. So you’re you going into new territory, as a creative person every single time.

Lori Cavallucci
Right, right. I also feel that so many of us have come from other field, that that that contributes to it. So, you know, Amy and I both came from different fields into UX, because it wasn’t UX, when we when we were studying in school. And I, I wonder, like, I think that this next generation that’s coming up, there’s more and more people that are that are starting to come into jobs where I am that have, they have degrees in this, so I just wonder if they’re going to be experiencing it to the same level. All that we do,

Amy Silvers
and the and the profession will be more defined, whether it’s it’s still vague or not, I think they’ll be they’ll there will have been enough people doing it, doing something resembling it for long enough but that it’ll be a little more accepted and a little more generalised to where people can confidently say yes, what I’m doing is UX design. And maybe if we’re lucky, there’ll be fewer people saying, Oh, no, that’s not UX design. This is UX design. Yeah.

James Royal-Lawson
Maybe even even management might have a better understanding of what you’re doing. So the hippos and so forth, hight up in the company won’t be telling, you know, can’t you make it blue?

Lori Cavallucci
I also think like there’s, for what I’ve done, I do the same work pretty much and every company again, there’s different nuances, but my title has been different everywhere. I go. But I’m still doing the same work. So I think that also contributes to it because it’s like, you know, right now I’m, I’m Senior lead interaction designer, but you know, I’m doing UX work and I’m in the UX department, but that’s just what our title is, you know, before it was senior user experience designer, I, you know, it’s um, I’ve been lead IA. For information architect. It’s so it but again, I’m doing the same work. It’s just with a different title. And I don’t think you know that that helps because it’s, it’s harder for us to define who we are.

Per Axbom
The field is changing so fast all the time. And if you’re doing Photoshop, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re not catching on with pen and paper, you’re doing it wrong, right. So you’re always doing it wrong.

Lori Cavallucci
And to be honest, I actually was at a company that told me I was sketching wrong. I didn’t know you could sketch wrong! They had standards for sketching. It was always my thought process.

James Royal-Lawson
Standards for sketching.

Per Axbom
Oh, that’s amazing.

Lori Cavallucci
Needless to say that didn’t work out very well.

James Royal-Lawson
That sounds probably a good move to move on for that one.

Per Axbom
So I was listening to the No Agenda podcast or a snippet of it the other day. And they were talking about the self esteem movement, which I thought coupled with this quite well. And they were talking about Little League and how everybody gets a medal as kids. Even if they come in last, everybody gets a medal. I mean, it’s the same in Sweden. I know when my boys play soccer. And when they are playing a cup or something, they’re everybody gets medals, always looking forward to

James Royal-Lawson
they queue up for the medals.

Per Axbom
And so what happens is, everybody thinks that they’re the best because they’re always getting these medals or these trophies. And so the theory then was that once you get into actually working life, you realise, oh, I’m not the best. I don’t know anything. So we’re not preparing our children even for getting out there into the real world. We’re giving them all this self confidence and self esteem, which everybody thinks Yeah, that’s really Good, but in the end, they haven’t really felt that feeling of trying to achieve and get that medal or trophy by doing really, really well.

Lori Cavallucci
But I think when you get to a certain level that that changes, I do have kids I have two teen boys a 16 and a 17 year old, my city I happen to be at Junior Olympics right now with my 16 year old, but there’s been years, he’s had really crappy throws. And just you know, he qualified but then didn’t make it here. And or he made it but he just didn’t throw far enough to medal. And so these kids they know, to be cliche, the agony of defeat. You know, there was one of his teammates yesterday, who’s a long jumper, every jump, he failed. He didn’t even get to really compete and so there he’s not going home with a medal.

So I think again, you know, when you’re in the non competitive team sports that they tend to give metals, but when the other kids tend to move out of that, and it’s a great lesson because they’re competing with kids who are of the same ilk in quality and calibre, and so they know, they learn that they’re up against the same competition as they are just as good and they may walk away with nothing. So again, it’s Yeah, I mean, it’s just I agree, I think that we we do we try very hard to make everybody feel good.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah. But we’ve we’ve so we’ve got two sides to this. So you’ve got the the feeling the feeling of confidence that you actually are capable of doing something. And then there’s the flip side, or the compliment to it is that it’s okay to fail.

Lori Cavallucci
Right.

Amy Silvers
Yeah.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah. And, and I suppose both of those contribute to, to the feeling of imposter syndrome.

Amy Silvers
Absolutely. You go in sort of feeling like, yeah, I can do this. I’m trying For this, I know what I’m doing. And then the for whatever reason, possibly beyond your control the project fails. Or, more commonly, at least for me, your designs aren’t accepted, for whatever reason, you need to go back and change them. And it’s not generally a personal thing. In fact, it’s almost never a personal thing. But it leaves you, you could almost call it imposter confusion. Because it leaves you in this state where you think, well, what what should I be taking away from this? Should I be taking away from this that I’m incompetent or that I’m good, but I still have more to learn. And that also contributes to that feeling of sort of, I don’t know what I’m doing.

I think it all it all kind of boils down to a pervasive sense of, I have no idea what I’m doing. For me, one of the nice things, honestly about getting older Laura and I are the same age. We’re both in our early 50s, let’s say. And for me, one of the nicest things about getting older is, is feeling better about not knowing everything and realising that you don’t know everything and that you’re never going to know everything and that it’s, it’s okay not to know everything. But I think for younger people, it’s very hard to get these kind of mixed messages. Yes, I got the metals in Little League. And I do find, you know, there are a lot of stereotypes about millennials.

I work with a lot of millennials and what I find with them is Yes, they’re very confident. They don’t suffer from the kind of self doubt that I did when I was their age, but they’re not arrogant about it. And they do recognise that they don’t know everything, and they get it for some reason. They don’t recognise that they get regular life lessons. It certainly regular work lessons and, and they learned from that and they grow from that. So in a way that gives me hope, you know that they’ll be confronted with less of this but I also see them saying you know, that they have imposter syndrome to.

I quote one of my co workers when we give the talk, he’s just the smartest guy. He’s young, and he’s very, he comes off as very confident, very professional. He’s spoken at conferences now even though he’s only been in the field for a few years. Very multi talented, you know, he’s, he’s good visual designer, but he’s also an ace coder. And when I was first telling him about the talk, he had never heard of imposter syndrome. So I explained it to him and he said, Oh, I feel like that every day. So, you know, I still see this happening even with this more confidence. And kind of more brash younger generation, which is unfortunate.

Per Axbom
to probably we should be talking about it more, because I can really relate to that. But as I grow older, that I can really accept that I don’t know everything. And I’m thinking that when I approach or when I talked to more junior UX designers, that I should probably be careful about how I actually articulate problems perhaps and solutions in that I realised that some things are not research based, but something that they just happened to think of that was fun, or they, they brought in something from another project, but it was it didn’t fit as well in this project. And when you say stuff like that, that can make them very much feel. Of course, like imposters, they realised Oh my God, I’m not basing this on the right data. But at the same time, recognise that we don’t have the data, so maybe we are doing it in the right way as best we can anyway,

Lori Cavallucci
right, right. I also think company culture plays a part. I think there are companies where I’ve been scared to say I don’t know like, I Don’t know, and I want to say it, but you can’t say that. And then the best managers and the best companies basically allow you to try things and fail. And, and know that, you know, they’re there, and nothing’s going to happen to you and that you still know what you know. So again, it has a lot to do with where you are and what, what the feeling is there.

James Royal-Lawson
And also, for me, me, me and Per are both both consultants. So we’re we’re paid to know, even though it’s not a culture thing, you know, it’s, it can be very difficult for us to sit in a situation and go, Well, actually, I have no idea. All right. I don’t know the answer to that.

Per Axbom
Yeah. So what so what are we paying you for?

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah, well, exactly.

Lori Cavallucci
And I used to go through the same thing when I was independent, I’m feeling like they are they are looking to me to be that knowledge base. But I also learned to say I don’t know but I can find out and that seemed to help because they appreciate Did the honesty that I wasn’t trying to fake it and respected me more than I always did. You know, there’s so many other experts that I can lean on and get that information from.

Amy Silvers
Yeah. But that’s a cultural thing, too. There are places where you absolutely can’t get away with that.

James Royal-Lawson
Exactly. I was going to say that. I mean, I’ve some of my clients, I have no problem whatsoever saying, I actually have no idea but I’ll find out or I’ll get back to you. That’s a complex issue only to I can’t just give you a live answer. But we have other clients that would feel more awkward, what is what is the some good advice of how we can, how we can go about dealing with this feeling when we when it bubbles up, or when we notice it in them in a co worker.

Lori Cavallucci
And the first step is admitting you know, telling people being honest and open saying this is something I suffer from and that you know, I I feel like I have imposter syndrome. Some of the time a lot of the time and and you know, it’s you’ll see it come up when there are new things coming along the the pike. It’s I also I expressed in the talk and the workshop that basically putting yourself out there, and your work and getting it critiqued. And basically, you know, realising it’s not you, like we all tend to personalise this and think that we’re, they’re critiquing us and they’re criticising us. But it’s actually the work and just separating ourselves from it and moving beyond that, because it’s it’s collaboration and getting that feedback. It just makes us better and helps us to learn more. You know, we all have achievements, we all have awards, you know, emails, acknowledging hard work, printing those out, hanging them up, anything that acknowledges the work we do, so we can rely on that when we’re feeling most like imposters, mentors, getting a mentor really helps because they push And they’re there to back you up. You feel like you have someone to lean on, and then mentoring others who have this.

Amy Silvers
And there’s also a way to look at the positive side of imposter syndrome to look at it as a chance to see things with a fresh eye. You know, we talk a lot, I think it’s almost a buzzword. Now we talk about the beginner’s mindset, the beginner’s mind approaching a project with the beginner’s mind. So, if you really feel new at something, or you really feel like you don’t get something, that’s a great opportunity to learn about it and open your mind to it and explore it. And then you have you know, then you’ve conquered that and you’ve got it in in your tool belt for next time. It’s another another thing that you can add to your set of skills, your collection of skills, the fact that our work does change so much and is a little bit different on every project we do, although it can reinforce imposter syndrome it’s also one of the things that’s really cool about the work we do right it’s never boring or very rarely boring, unlike most people’s jobs so that’s that’s a positive thing.

People hate, there are a lot of an awful lot of people hate their jobs. And most people in UX do not hate their jobs. They’re doing it because they love their jobs. And because it is exciting and changing and there’s always more to learn. So if you approach it that way, rather than as oh god I don’t know this I’m an idiot it sometimes it is just a matter of kind of which recording you play in your head. Is it the recording that says, Oh, God, I know nothing. Everybody else knows this and I don’t know anything about it. And and they’re all going to find out not going to fail or is it the recording that says You know how to approach something new, new, you know how to learn about new things. Remember that time when you learned about such and such approach to this, like that, and it’ll be fun. You know, and that’s oversimplifying to an enormous degree, but but you do have some control over, over over the voices in your head, and what they’re telling you. So that’s a way to deal with it.

But also, I think accepting that it is that you’re always going to feel some degree of it, whenever you’re confronted with something especially challenging or just something very new. And that it’s okay. You know, other people feel it to just remind yourself, I always like to remind myself like, I am sitting in a room with a bunch of my co workers. And sometimes I’ll be completely focused on one thing, and I’ll hear them all laughing. And because I’m a paranoid personal thing, oh god, they’re laughing at me. Of course, they’re not laughing at me, they’re not even thinking about me, they’re thinking about themselves. And that’s true for most people in most situations. So when you’re sitting in a meeting, presenting your designs, you know, the other members of the team are thinking, you know, maybe the product manager is thinking, Oh, God, I hope I’m not going to sound too stupid if I asked this question about what that button does, or the other designers thinking, Oh, boy, you know, that was my idea. I hope it doesn’t bomb. People are focused on themselves. They’re not focused on you. And that can really help recognise him that can really help deal with imposter syndrome. Also,

Lori Cavallucci
as we compare ourselves to everybody, everybody else compares themselves to people to no matter what level they are. We all do that with everything, but I think it tends to affect us. So we have to remember that we’re all human and everyone’s doing the same thing.

James Royal-Lawson
Is there any way that we can we can put imposter syndrome and to positive use when it when it comes up. So instead of just trying to fight it back and put it back in this box, can we actually spin it spin off it and put it to some good use,

Lori Cavallucci
there’s a cycle where we achieve and it creates more feelings of imposter syndrome so we work harder to achieve it so it’s it’s a cycle but it’s it’s maybe an overachiever mindset, but it’s we all tend to work really hard. And so I you know, it’s I view it is something I have just like, I have brown eyes or I’m left handed. It’s it’s just something that’s part of me that’s never going to go away. It comes in waves. You know, there are times where I really feel like an imposter and there’s times where I’m feeling more confident. And I think that it’s that way for everybody.

Amy Silvers
And I also think it’s a way you know, you can use it as a way to keep yourself on your toes. Like, particularly when you’ve been in the field for a while, you can get sort of lazy in your habits and just rely on things that you’ve done before. or treat, treat things says, you know, just turn to the obvious solution rely too heavily on design patterns and not really think things through. If you’re a little bit humbled, and you’re a little bit nervous, just a little bit, not excessively, about how your work is going to be received that keeps you fresh, it keeps you thinking. And it it renews your energy for, for getting better at stuff for learning more about about your skills and improving your skills. So I do think that’s one positive aspect.

Per Axbom
Yeah. So that’s maybe why we have it.

Amy Silvers
It could be Yeah, certainly part of it.

Per Axbom
think a lot of our listeners will be feels relieved that actually listening to this podcast. I certainly am. And I think it’s really I was happy to hear that more than 80% of UX-ers feel this way because that makes me feel feel better as well.

Amy Silvers
And and people at the most senior levels like people I’ve looked up to and learn from for years feel it. Absolutely. Which is it’s very there is something very comforting about that. Yeah, sure.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah. We’ve actually noticed that during the years of interviewing people on your podcast that some people are are very, very humble. Humble to the point where you, you you you see that they probably are suffering from imposter syndrome that they don’t understand why everyone wants to talk to them and Yeah, exactly. interview them for a podcast.

Amy Silvers
Yeah.

Per Axbom
Everybody’s just human in the end.

Amy Silvers
Exactly. And, and remembering that is helpful with imposter syndrome.

James Royal-Lawson
Interesting that we have to say that to UX-ers.

Amy Silvers
It is.

James Royal-Lawson
It’s all about the people.

Lori Cavallucci
you know, I think we tend to look inward somewhat we observe people. And I think that’s why like, we’re always thinking about things. We’re thinking about things outside of ourselves. We’re thinking about things in within ourselves. And that’s, you know, we’re looking for patterns in ourselves to And just like with anything, and I think that that’s one of the reasons it, it also contributes to why so many of us have it.

Per Axbom
Excellent. Thank you guys for being on UX podcast. I’m going to be listening back to this show. I know that I feel better about myself, at times.

Lori Cavallucci
Reach out anytime.

Per Axbom
And we’ll be posting a link to your talk. The IA summit as well. Show Notes and the link to your Twitter profile so people can get in touch with you as well. Thank you very much. Thank you.

James Royal-Lawson
Take home already from this. We all need mentors.

Per Axbom
I like that that’s a good point. I was actually thinking about that. Yeah. Be a mentor and have a mentor.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah,

Per Axbom
actually,

James Royal-Lawson
yeah, it’s um, yeah, it’s a two sided coin that all of us, all of us need someone to talk to. And, and, and learn, learn with and then from now and we’ve we’ve taught on several shows about about the usefulness usefulness of having a mentor about this one of our What are tips that we’ve given out during listen to phone-ins. When we’re asked the question, how do you get how do you kind of move on in UX and get started in UX and right, we’ve, we’ve generally said you get yourself, someone to mentor you doesn’t have to be a rock star.

Per Axbom
No, just anyone that you can just throw ideas to and have something come back and just start thinking about what you do and how you feel about it.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah, it’s good to talk.

Per Axbom
And I’m so glad I have this phrase now that I can start using more and start talking about people even in other professions are just to dinner with other people. Talk about imposter syndrome because it seems to be affecting a lot lots and lots of people. And it seems that it’s something that people tend to hide about themselves that we when we should be talking about it more because it’s more normal than not.

James Royal-Lawson
And I think it’s interesting with the high percentage of UX-ers is that the non-scientific survey said that now put their hand up and said, Yes, they suffer from imposter syndrome. But I also think it’s interesting the the way that it was, at least originally, it was seen as a female thing. Yes. But that now, you understand it’s actually not gender specific, and that men suffer from it too.

James Royal-Lawson
Exactly.

James Royal-Lawson
Although I’ll speculate that sometimes men are maybe a little bit less open about these things.

Per Axbom
Exactly. not inclined to admit it. Yeah. as much.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah. Because it be seen as a sign of weakness.

Per Axbom
Yeah.

James Royal-Lawson
Which we know from other studies, Health Studies figures comes up, I think. Fairly often men under report

Per Axbom
Exactly.

James Royal-Lawson
Various things. So I took it I male, female, or, or anything else that you can you can put your hand up and say me too.

Per Axbom
talking about it. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something and see it as an opportunity to learn and see it as something positive that you have imposter syndrome because it actually keeps you on your toes and makes you perform well.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah. I think one of our previous guests said I can’t remember which one, but the whole thing about responding with Oh, that’s an excellent question. I’ll get back to you with an answer. Yeah. So that, you know, if you’re in situation where you don’t know the answer, or don’t feel like you can answer, then then give some praise for the question. Note the question and buy yourself some time. We can’t know everything all the time.

Per Axbom
That reminds me of when I get questions. When I do talks. You always, always repeat the question slowly. So that gives you time to think about the answer.

James Royal-Lawson
Yeah, buy yourself time. We can’t possibly know everything. ‘

Per Axbom
No,

James Royal-Lawson
and not not have it all. fingertip ready in your head know

Per Axbom
exactly.

Per Axbom
Thank you for spending your time with us links and notes from this episode can be found on uxpodcast.com if you can’t find them in your pod playing tool of choice

James Royal-Lawson
and remember that you can contribute to funding the show by visiting uxpodcast.com/support

Per Axbom
recommended listening after this episode is 136 creativity with the Denis Jacobs and Chris Nossel

James Royal-Lawson
Thank you, pear axe bomb.

Per Axbom
[Laugh] Yes, you need to listen to that show to understand that reference

James Royal-Lawson
I think it’s that show

Per Axbom
Yeah, it is that show.

Per Axbom
Remember to keep moving.

James Royal-Lawson
See you on the other side.

[Music]

James Royal-Lawson
What do you call a fake noodle?

Per Axbom
I don’t know James, what do you call a fake noodle

James Royal-Lawson
an impaster.


This is a transcript of a conversation between James Royal-Lawson, Per Axbom, Lori Cavallucci and Amy Silvers recorded in August 2015 and published as Episodes 110 and 227 of UX Podcast.