Managing Yourself and Managing Others

This week at the University of Canberra NSI Campus we were asked to complete a homework task. This task would allow us to develop a clearer understanding of what we believe are our key attributes. This was done using The Johari Window, a model for mapping self-awareness developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950’s (Kevan, 2006). We further asked to forward our profile on Johari to close friends and contacts to ask them to also pick attributes they thought best suited me. The results of this test were quite surprising and also varied. Surprisingly the participants picked 4 of the six attributes I picked to describe myself while other attributes differed from the way I see myself. Some of their answers even overlapped. This was instantly an eye-opening exercise, making me realize that the way I believe people view me is not correct. The list of attributes are as follows:

Personal choices (* indicates audience match)

  • Independent*
  • Logical*
  • Organised*
  • Trustworthy*
  • Idealistic
  • Introverted

Audience choices (four participants)

  • Independent x 2
  • Logical x2
  • Organised
  • Trustworthy x 3
  • Accepting
  • Cheerful
  • Clever x 2
  • Dependable x 2
  • Energetic
  • Happy
  • Intelligent x 2
  • Observant
  • Spontaneous
  • Witty
  • Relaxed

 Dealing with clients

When dealing with a client, no two are alike. Every client will need something different. The fact that no two clients are alike means that as a designer, you have to be extremely attentive, to the individual needs of each client (Shoughnessy, 2010). Understanding this I have come to see that some of my personality traits would be quite fitting to this passage. Being accepting to the clients needs would greatly benefit the work in question. I believe this because it is said by Don Sparkman (1999) in the book Selling Graphic Design that “you have to treat them as if they are the client, not their company”. Being accepting will allow me to develop a partnership with the immediate client as well as the company. Developing a partnership is a vital part of the designer client process as again mentioned by Shoughnessy (2010). He states “the best, and only, way to work effectively with clients is to build a partnership based on equality”. Being trustworthy and dependable are also good characteristics when dealing with a client as they are spending money and are trusting that, as a designer I will deliver what they need. They need a designer they can depend on to achieve the results they require.

Dealing with colleagues

In my personal opinion, I do believe I need to work on skills when working with colleagues. From working in a design team recently I have found that the method in which I work is different from others. Not in a design sense but when it comes to time management. It is said by Graphic Design Schools (2016) that “A great graphic designer works well as part of a team and recognizes that all team members must work well together and communicate openly to get a project completed”. Once again the traits of trustworthiness, acceptance and reliability will all be beneficial when working with a colleague or within a team. I do believe from personal experience, that I need to work on my communication skills. I am a quiet person when in a new situation as discussed in an earlier blog entry. I have to learn to be more open to benefit the project at hand. While I am in the course of my studies it is something I am currently working towards. Graphic Design Schools (2016) also mentions this saying “A great graphic designer is able to effectively communicate with clients and other members of the design team to ensure they are on track with deadlines and other goals”. This is why an improvement in my own communication skills is important.

Dealing with myself

As a personal opinion, I do think many of these traits that have been mentioned by the survey audience currently do and will continue to help me throughout my career as a designer. Being Independent, Logical, Organised, observant and, idealistic help me to deal with the current issues I face completing design work that is not team based. One of the most important traits here I believe is organized. This trait that helps me to stay on top of things and keep the deadline in sight. This is mentioned by Bogdan, the founder of Top Design Mag. He states “What do you need to know is that when working as a graphic designer, it’s very important to get organized. If you don’t organize your work, then there’s a high probability that your design work will suffer. You can’t afford lost things, forgetting design tasks or client requests.” It is for this reason, I do believe this is one of the more valuable traits I possess when it comes to dealing with myself.

Dealing with the boss

Dealing with a boss in a graphic design setting is something I have had only little experience of. Though the time working with this boss I did learn a few things. They are much like any other boss in the world. He was exactly the same as the boss I have been doing building work for since I high school. They expect professionalism, hard work and a better than expected end result. Researching into this I found it hard to find information about dealing with a boss. What I could find was a lot of information on how to deal with a terrible boss, such as an article written by Creative Boom (2013). For this section of the blog entry, I am going to answer the question based on what I have learnt in my past experiences. I have found that being reliable, trustworthy and independent are all traits that my previous bosses have valued. Being logical, observant and organized are also.

I believe by having these traits it makes it easier to deal with a boss in the work environment. Permitting they act professionally and are not one of the “horrible bosses”, by meeting their expectations will make the working environment easier.

 

Where do I believe I fit in?

From looking into these areas I believe I would be best suited as a co-worker. That’s not to say that in the future I won’t be the head or director of a studio. But to be realistic, there is a slim chance I will be walking out of University with my degree, and into a leading position in a studio or firm. The only boss I am at this stage is my own when completing freelance jobs. It takes skill and experience to reach these positions and that experience comes from starting as a co-worker. I personally believe I would be a good co-worker as I am driven and hold traits that make me dependable. I am accepting and enjoy learning from those who have more skill and experience than I do.

It is for these reasons that I believe I would be a best suited as a co-worker at this present point in time. From this experience, I will develop the needed skills and knowledge to one day be in a leading position

 Works Cited

 Bogden. (n.d.). Become A More Organized Graphic Designer. Retrieved Mar 15, 2016, from Top Design Mag: http://www.topdesignmag.com/become-a-more-organized-graphic-designer/

Creative Boom. (2013, Oct 28). Horrible bosses and how to deal with them. Retrieved Mar 15, 2016, from Creative boom: http://www.creativeboom.com/tips/horrible-bosses-and-how-to-deal-with-them/

Graphic Design Schools. (2016). Top 10 Qualities of a Great Graphic Designer. Retrieved Mar 15, 2016, from Graphic Design Schools: http://graphicdesignschools.com/resources/top-10-qualities-of-a-great-graphic-designer

Kevan. (2006, Feb 11). Johari Window. Retrieved Mar 13, 2016, from Johari Window: http://kevan.org/johari

Shoughnessy, A. (2010). Dealing With Clients. In A. Shoughnessy, How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul (pp. 87-96). London, United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Sparkman, D. (1999). Selling Graphic Design. New York, N.Y, USA: Allworth Press.

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