💎 Don’t miss these design lessons from the game industry brought to you by a game designer at Riot Games! Watch the video to the end to learn how to improve the work you do as a game designer.
📼 Press play to get 3 design lessons for a game industry career from Candace Thomas, Principal Game Designer at Riot Games, who will share with you the insights that she has learned throughout her successful 15-year career.
📼 Design Lessons From The Game Industry - Tip #1: Check In With Yourself. How are you feeling? Are you having some anxiety? Are you stressed about a deadline? Are you afraid that someone's going to reject your idea? Do you not even know where to start in the first place? If so, that's okay. Take a deep breath and don't shame yourself for it. It's natural. Instead, work to reduce your anxiety. Do things like ping your ideas off of your coworkers to gain confidence. Talk to your manager or your stakeholder about what's expected of you, the timeline, and all of your concerns. This will help you build some confidence, or it may even allow you to push back the date in a way that makes you feel more confident in what you're doing.
📼 Design Lessons From The Game Industry - Tip #2: Make Lists. Candace's advice is to start by making a list of all the things that excite you about the project that you’re working on, to get yourself hyped and enthused about it. Having these things handy and taking stock of what you appreciate about what you’re working on will help you power through any roadblocks or slumps in your creative process. The next one is a list of the goals that you're trying to achieve by the end of your project. Think about what message you're trying to send, and the audience that you're trying to send it to. The last list that Candace advises to do is one of your support group. First, add the people that you know you’ll have to collaborate with to finish your project. Candace also likes to include the people that she knows can inspire or encourage her along the way. Having a support group is going to be helpful when you get roadblocked. And if you spend some cycles thinking about how these people like to communicate and how they collaborate most effectively, it might remove that small barrier that you have to reach out for help when you need it.
Design Lessons From The Game Industry - Tip #3: Fill In The Details
This is the stage where you’ll fill out the content of your project or your game design. It sounds simple, but this is the actual hard part, right? At least, now you're primed for success! For one, you've made a list of all the people that you need to collaborate with, and a list of people that you know you can bounce ideas off of if you get roadblocked. Second, you've shed all of the negative emotion that you might have brought into the space, and you have lots of confidence in what you're doing. And lastly, you have a list of goals ready for you to check back in with, to make sure that your project is still running smoothly.
📨 Are you interested in joining Riot Games? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Candace
Candace is an AAA game content creation specialist. She’s a designer for single and multiplayer combat, Enemy Design and AI, game modes, and narrative. She’s a creative powerhouse and a mentor! If you are interested in a career at Riot Games, you can connect with Candace Thomas on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Riot Games
Riot Games was founded in 2006 to change how video games are developed, published, and supported by players. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game globally and a vital driver of the explosive growth of esports. Players are the foundation of Riot's community and it’s for them that Riot continues to evolve the League experience, in-game and beyond.
💎Did you know that you can actually make use of the impostor syndrome as your superpower? Mind-blowing, huh? Watch this video to the end to learn some key tips!
📼 The impostor syndrome might actually be a good thing - such as your superpower. Listen to these takes by Jen Elkow, director of product management at Skedulo, who is kind enough to show her own vulnerabilities with some tips that she wishes she’d known earlier in her career.
📼 Using The Impostor Syndrome As Your Superpower - Tip #1: So first of all, imposter syndrome is a good thing, and you shouldn’t let it stop you. In fact, consider that if you're doing something new, stretching yourself, and learning and growing, you’re in a position where you’re doing things for the very first time. As Jen says: that feeling of impostor syndrome, lean into that- the feeling itself means that you are actually on the right path! Maybe you're new to tech, and you're feeling this impostor syndrome because you’re comparing yourself to other people who might have more time in the industry than you. But that's okay! Really, what's important is that you persevere and continue.
📼 Using The Impostor Syndrome As Your Superpower - Tip #2: The core of Jane’s insight is to actually reframe impostor syndrome into a superpower. Remember this: nobody has your experience. Nobody has your unique point of view, your history, your industry knowledge, and the whole rich collection of experiences that you can bring to the table. Nobody has that except for you! So when you think about this, what is your unique perspective that you're able to bring? What is your unique worldview, your history, your passions that you're bringing to the table?
Using The Impostor Syndrome As Your Superpower - Tip #3
Jen’s last tip is if you have a question you’re dreading to ask, don’t hesitate to ask it anyway. Take five seconds of courage to bring it up. This is where Jen feels impostor syndrome the most, when having a question, and in particular when being in front of a large group of people. But actually what she’s come to appreciate is that other people likely have the same question. And by asking it, everyone is able to have a better understanding of the situation around them. So ask anyways!
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Skedulo? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Jen
Jen is drawn to product management where the job is never done, rather (hopefully) a little bit better with each release. Success has come by constantly asking "What is it for?" and "Who is it for?" to understand what problems to solve and why it's worth solving them now. She has loved breaking down complex problems users are facing to find simple solutions and now enjoys enabling a team of Product Managers within their squads to do the same. She has been fortunate to manage product development through all product life cycles from exploration and ideation through to sunset and replacing products. She loves working through the ongoing adjustment for product development and strategy to take a product from early adopters, past the chasm, and beyond while scaling. Working within small-scale startups to large multi-national companies, always within a growth opportunity, has provided many lessons across multiple industries. If you are interested in a career at Skedulo, you can connect with Jen Elkow on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Skedulo
Skedulo is on a mission to support the 2.7 billion people in the world–and the companies that employ them–who do not work at a desk every day. Their global teams are collaborative, ambitious, innovative, and passionate about helping their customers to realize their fullest potential by enabling their mobile workforces. Skedulo’s leading Deskless Productivity Cloud solution powered by AI and machine learning empowers organizations to manage, engage and analyze their deskless workforce, supporting the 80% of global workers who don’t work in a traditional office setting. Skedulo’s platform helps enterprises intelligently manage, schedule, dispatch, and support deskless workers on the go, whether they are in fixed location facilities or mobile field workers on the frontline.
💎 Practicing allyship in the workplace is crucial to help build a diverse and equitable work environment where everyone’s voice is heard. Watch the video to the end to learn some practical ways to accomplish it.
📼 Use these tips to improve your allyship practice in the workplace! To make people feel included and part of the group, you have to know how to become a better ally. Meet Jeffrey Zeldman, Principal Designer at Automattic, who shares his tips to be a better ally to underrepresented coworkers.
📼 Allyship in the Workplace - Tip #1: Research And Listen. Jeffrey starts by bringing up the old saying “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason” which means: you should listen more than you talk. Jeffrey’s advice is to talk to people who are different from you- lots of them! Also: research! You can read articles, watch videos where people talk about diversity, look up inclusion and diversity, and specifically look for ways of making people feel at home. Ask questions and be prepared to continue to learn forever. The good news is you'll benefit from the creativity and insights of people who may think differently from you, be from different cultures from you. Above all, listen, learn, ask questions, and try to learn a little more every day.
📼 Allyship in the Workplace - Tip #2: Use Inclusive Language. Learn how to pronounce people's names: one of the things people love the most is hearing their own names correctly pronounced. When using inclusive language, you'll be going a long way toward making people feel more at home and included. So do the work! Use language that makes everyone feel wanted, accepted, and understood.
Allyship In The Workplace - Tip #3: Opportunity And Visibility
What folks from underrepresented groups want most it's the opportunity that you've had and they haven't. So you have an opportunity to help them up the ladder, to introduce them to people, and to recommend them for projects that come to you. Bring them in! As Jeffrey puts it: “sponsorship over mentorship”. You can do that in your workplace just by inviting your coworkers to meetings, including them in plans and projects, and giving them a helpful push!
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Automattic? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Jeffrey Zeldman
Principal Designer, Automattic, Inc. Founder & Publisher, A List Apart “for people who make websites” (founded 1998). Co-founded the multi-city user experience design conference An Event Apart with Eric Meyer. Founder Emeritus of Happy Cog™, an award-winning digital design studio. Publisher and co-founder (with Jason Santa Maria) of A Book Apart—brief books for web and interaction designers. Blogger & web designer since 1995. He has written two books, notably the foundational web standards text, Designing With Web Standards, currently in a 3rd Edition co-authored by Ethan Marcotte. It has been translated into 15 languages. Faculty member on the MFA, Interaction Design program at School of Visual Arts, New York. Co-founder and host of the internet radio program The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”), twice named Podcast of the Year by .net Magazine. Former freelance journalist, The Washington Post & City Paper. Former copywriter & art director (DeVito Verdi, Grey Entertainment, Campbell-Mithun-Esty). Played Casio in DC’s Insect Surfers. Composed & produced electronic scores for Upright Vertebrates Dance Co., and (with Robert Goldstein of Urban Verbs) for PBS. Former design columnist, MacWorld, PDN-Pix, Adobe. In 2012, was the first designer inducted in the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame. If you are interested in a career at Automattic, you can connect with Jeffrey Zeldman on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Automattic
Automattic are the people behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce, Tumblr, and more. Founded in 2005, and valued at $3 billion, they were one of the first companies to pave the way in remote work culture. The company’s 1,400+ people hail from 79 countries and speak 99 languages. Though the workforce is intellectually and geographically diverse, they’re united by a shared passion to democratize publishing and commerce—so that anyone with a story can tell it, and anyone with a product can sell it, regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or country. And the company is growing rapidly!
In the modern workplace, knowing how to do your job is just a starting point. You might be great at completing work tasks, but if you lack the right soft skills, you'll struggle to get the job done right.
When managing a group of people, soft skills are even more important because you're responsible for leading, motivating, and encouraging your team. In fact, managers with great leadership soft skills can boost their team's productivity by up to 30%. There's nothing soft about that!
Whether you're new to management or have years of experience under your belt, it's crucial to continue learning and developing as a leader. By learning more about the types of soft skills that can benefit managers, you can determine which areas you want to improve upon to better oversee your team.
Keep reading for 10 soft skills that every manager should have in 2022 and some resources to help you work on them.
10 Soft Skills for Managers
1. Emotional Intelligence. Not everyone reacts the same way to leadership. Some people might welcome direct feedback, while others might require a more sensitive approach to critique. Having emotional intelligence will help you recognize certain emotions in employees, understand how your leadership affects morale, and know how to deal with your team as individuals and as a whole.
2. Time Management. It's no secret that time management is a necessary skill for anyone, but managers can especially benefit from proper planning and time allocation. Too often, managers are presented with more work than they can handle, so knowing how to properly manage your time will help you prioritize, delegate, and complete tasks according to upcoming deadlines.
3. Written Communication. With remote and hybrid work environments on the rise, written communication is becoming more important than ever. Transmitting intention and tone through text takes practice. And because you can't easily walk over to someone's desk to explain yourself, being thorough and concise in your written instruction is important.
4. Creativity and Innovation. Managers can benefit from creativity because it helps them develop unique solutions to problems. Thinking outside of the box, and encouraging your team to do the same, can yield unprecedented outcomes and opportunities.
5. Active Listening. When we think of a good communicator, we generally think about speaking rather than listening. But when it comes to the qualities of a good manager, listening is just as important. Listening actively is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks. When you listen actively, your team feels like their thoughts and insights are being heard and valued, which can make a huge difference in your team's effectiveness.
6. Goal-Setting. Setting goals is a crucial part of management. Not only should a manager be able to determine who needs to do what in order to reach company goals, they should also be able to set personal and professional goals for themselves and their team to reach their full potential.
7. Decision-Making. Critical thinking is important as a manager, because every decision you make impacts your team (and sometimes the entire company). Managers should be decisive in order to make quick decisions about hiring, task delegation, projects, and deadlines.
8. Adaptability. Many management positions are fast-paced and dynamic, meaning that you have to be ready to tackle anything and everything that comes your way. Being adaptable means that you are flexible in times of uncertainty and change. It also means that you're able to keep pushing your team forward when things don't go according to plan.
9. Mental Agility. Think of mental agility as having an extremely in shape brain muscle. Managers who are mentally agile can grasp complex concepts quickly, analyze and problem solve on the fly, and make sound decisions in a timely manner.
10. Collaboration. As a manager, working with others is one of the biggest parts of your job. But being able to work well with others isn't enough. As a manager, collaboration also entails encouraging your team to work together and use their unique perspectives to create solutions and greater outcomes.