Having a passion for team and workplace is more than just about producing work. It's about lifting others up to stand on our shoulders. It's about providing a safe environment for experimentation, ownership, and growth. It's about creating bonds that will get you through rough times. Finally, it's about building a version of our culture that reflects our values.
Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen. ISBN: 0143118447
This book is far and away the one I refer to the most when it comes to working with other people. My favorite takeaways are the Three Conversations and the Parade metaphor.
Kim Malone Scott. ISBN: 1250235375
Eye-opening perspective on different management types. My favorite takeaway is the importance of feedback going in BOTH directions.
I wrote this in 2019 during my first position as a Design Director. As time has passed I've continued to use it as a reference for my team to understand what areas to focus on when advancing their level, and I've been told that it's both helpful and appreciated. I've included my preamble below, but you can read the guide on Google Docs
Learning is extremely hard, and you will always be learning.
For those of you who are in the first part of your career, a common feeling is that you aren’t doing your job well because you may not know everything about a particular area of design. Remember this: you will never be judged poorly for not knowing something.
Learning takes years. It also takes repetition. Don’t be embarrassed about needing to be reminded about something you had already learned but forgotten. Be patient with yourself, and enjoy the process of discovery.
As you grow to Senior and beyond, it's common to believe that your skills have capped, that there's no new way for you to grow. To think that now you've “got it” and can just go with the first solution you come up with. Keep looking at new inspiration. Look outside your industry to find patterns.
There is no room for ego here.
A design solution is never the best it can be without collaboration. A common mistake in early-career designers is to think that they must prove themselves by doing it all alone. That their portfolio must only showcase what they themselves accomplished, without any help. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside opinions in fear that it will be uncovered that your solution isn’t perfect.
The most important thing is finding the best solution to the problem.
I don’t care if the way that you uncovered it wasn’t all on your own. I don’t care if you had to ask ten different designers to help you. What I care about is a clean, simple solution to solve customer problems. So ask for critiques, ask for brainstorming sessions, ask for working sessions. My job as a manager is to teach you and bring your design solution up to the highest quality we can. Utilize that.
Progress reports about daily work
Quarterly reminders that your report is still alive and well
Growth and reflection opportunity for both manager and report
Bonding and relationship building
A good excuse to get another coffee
This PDF helps managers and reports have real conversations that measure workplace satisfaction. It has questions across many topics such as:
Instead of giving you a direct download, I'm going to link you to the creator's site so that they can get your data can get author credit. Here it is: