This session was hosted by DocuSign, as part of SF Design Week 2018. The designers at DocuSign talked about how soft skills helped two of their past projects.
There are a number of things I’m sure we’ve heard over and over again as designers. And it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves once again, because soft skills will make you a truly great designer.
What can you do when disagreement happens?
- Go back to the original problem statement
- Research to back design decisions up
- Have EMPATHY for your coworkers. You’re in this together. See where they’re coming. It’s not about proving you’re right. It’s about building the right thing with your partners.
- GOOD: Debate on the topic, facts
- BAD: Attack person
- Have courage to ask questions (as many as you can), even if everyone else is on the same page — you can disagree to something. You have to ask seven questions before you give up. You will help your team get better.
- When there’s no book can help you, just do it and adjust as needed.
- Attitude Don’t do it if you’re not serious about it, or can’t do it. Know when to say no.
- What if you fail?You’re going to fuck it up. And that’s totally fine. Learn from it.
Be a leader / Influence
- When you lead a project, guide the team towards the goal
- Align the team: Value/Risk evaluation framework – similar to effort / impact framework
- Don’t just execute. Make your influence.
- Make your problem visible. Have convos with other people (maybe leaders). Be honest with your concerns. Print work out. Put on the wall. People will start offering help.
- Write down & share accomplishments. Make people feel acknowledged.
- Be designer representative, consistently.
RACI – decision making framework
- R – responsible (the doers)
- A – accountable (decision maker)
- C – consulted
- I – informed