Developing Graphic Designer Skills To Become An Effective Team Player

For many graphic designers, your day-to-day will involve collaborating with cross-functional teams like engineering, product, and marketing. As a graphic designer, feedback is paramount. Whether it’s from a client or your team, regular feedback helps you iterate on your ideas and grow as a professional.

While you have your own perspective, the reality is that self-evaluation isn’t the best way to go about improving your soft skills. To become a better cross-functional partner, understanding the gaps in your soft skills are crucial to your growth.

What Soft Skills And Attributes Do Successful Graphic Designers Share?

There are numerous core soft skills that successful graphic designers develop over time. Some of the key differences between a good graphic designer and a great graphic designer include these essential traits:

  • Body Language: Good body language that’s open and inviting toward others helps you influence people to your way of thinking. What you say is often not nearly as important to others as to how you say it. When you’re working to share your vision, your nonverbal communication skills make all the difference.
  • Communication: When working with your peers, your manager, or your clients, strong written and verbal communication skills are a must. For a graphic designer, good communication often means learning to explain your ideas without the use of heavy technical jargon that non-designers don’t understand.
  • Candor: As a graphic designer, you have to be able to tell your client or team that an idea is simply not feasible. Maybe the visuals the client has in mind will detract from the goal or the colors will evoke the wrong emotional response from potential customers. Knowing how to break that kind of news and redirect the creative flow of a project will make you a highly valued member of the team.
  • Design Thinking: As a graphic designer, you have to be able to take a problem-solving approach and apply your creative skills in a way that is innovative and overcomes any challenges that come your way.
  • Empathy: Creativity and technical acumen is only part of having great graphic designer skills. Empathy helps you glean how real people will perceive, use, and feel about a particular design.
  • Listening: Everything that your clients say about their projects and goals is important to what you do. Active listening encourages clients and peers to share their ideas with you and take risks: especially if they feel like you are genuinely hearing them.
  • Multitasking: Multitasking is often paired with self-discipline. As a graphic designer, you often have a lot of control over your own workload, so you have to have the capacity to be self-directed, organized, and agile when switching between projects.
  • Presentation Skills: Presentations are one of the most stress-inducing aspects of any design job. Solid presentation skills eliminate problems with miscommunication, inspire confidence in your abilities, and motivate others to listen.
  • Productivity: Being productive, for a graphic designer, means staying creative. Your value to your company or your clients comes from your creative vision. If you lose that creative edge, you’ll ultimately lose the interest of others.
  • Resilience: Setbacks happen. Changes are made. Clients decide they want something re-done. Something you struggled over for weeks may get unceremoniously dumped at the last moment. As a designer, you have to develop an inner persistence that will allow you to handle setbacks without internalizing them.
  • Responsiveness: Graphic designers work with all kinds of people and personalities. Your manager, teammates, peers, and clients are occasionally going to disagree about where a project is going or what is effective from a design perspective. Being able to quickly and accurately respond to their concerns can help you move the project forward.
  • Storytelling: As a graphic designer, you know the power of storytelling — after all, you do it with images and designs all the time. Effective storytelling means effectively sharing your vision with other people.
  • Vision: A graphic designer’s job is to communicate through visuals. Having a vision that resonates with your client and your client’s customers and is both clear and aesthetically pleasing is essential to your role.

How Matter Can Help You Develop These Graphic Designer Skills?

Have you ever questioned the effectiveness of the standard performance review process? What good does it do to hear about your performance from only one perspective? While your boss, manager, or team leader always sees the final results of your efforts, he or she may not always be there in the trenches with you on a day-to-day basis. That means you’re ultimately being evaluated on whether or not you met a goal or achieve a specific result and nothing more.

You already know, walking into that kind of performance review, how well you did. You also know that the feedback you’re getting is really coming too late (and too rarely) to actually allow you to make changes in real-time. While you may appreciate the insights you gain from that kind of performance review, it just isn’t enough to help you understand how to make the kinds of small improvements that will help you make your work experience better and improve your relationship with your peers and clients.

Matter’s 360-degree feedback platform turns the standard review process inside-out and upside-down. Instead of getting feedback only once a project is over or a couple of times each year, you get continuous, actionable feedback that you can use to make constant improvements to your abilities.

Instead of getting feedback from only one or two sources (usually somewhat removed from your actual work process), Matter allows you to gather feedback from all around you — everyone you interact with — including your manager, your team lead, your peers, and your clients. You’re able to finally find out how others perceive you and learn what might be holding you back from your long-term goals.

Standard reviews are also focused solely on what matters to your manager, Matter allows you to decide what strengths and abilities you want to train. Natural talent and a degree can only take you so far — but relying on those alone creates a static mindset and limits your potential. When you embrace a growth mindset, you quickly realize that you can develop and hone those mysterious “soft skills” that you never learned in school.

Matter shows you how to break through the blind spots that are holding you back and achieve the best, most rewarding work of your life.

Are You Ready To Break Through Your Old Limitations?

Matter helps you measure your performance against the goals that are important to you in your role as a graphic designer. Matter’s continuous, 360-degree feedback system is a unique way of gathering information from your trusted peers. You can use that information in real-time to shatter any personal or professional barriers that are holding you back.

Learn how to develop a genuine “growth mindset” that will enable you to constantly improve and meet your career goals — both now and in the future! Unlock your full potential today and embrace your aspirations with Matter.

Learn. Improve. Grow.

Our mission is to help everyone reach their career aspirations and achieve their professional goals.