When recruiting designers for our Product Design team I have been asked multiple times about what makes a regular designer different from a senior designer. And there is no straightforward answer. After all, it's more than just a vast range of experience, a strong foundation of technical skills, and a growth mindset, right?
If there’s one thing that can demonstrate a designer's mastery, it’s presentation skills. Being able to articulate design decisions and convey the thought process is what moves every feedback session in the right direction. That's why designers need to be salespeople.
OK, but what if the thought of selling something sends shivers down your spine?
Then you might think effective selling is all about having a specific personality type that’s inherently better at persuasion. Not at all.
You don’t need to be an extrovert to be successful in this area. Research shows that the people who are the best at selling are ambiverts. Why? Because they know when to push, and at the same time, they know when to stop talking and listen.
You're an introvert trying to figure out how to be more extroverted or conversely? You can't change yourself fundamentally, but you can go from being on the edge towards the middle of the scale that measures introversion and extroversion. How?
You can nudge yourself a little bit by moving outside of your comfort zone.
If you're an introvert, look at your extroverted friends and try to do a little bit of what they're doing every once in a while, such as sit down next to a stranger and start talking to them.
If you’re an extrovert, you probably don't have any problem initiating conversation. You may find it particularly difficult to concentrate on what the other person is saying. So try to practice your listening skills, by repeating someone's words mentally as they say them. This will reinforce their message and help you to stay focused.