Some time ago, I started to think more about writing and how it helps our careers as UX Designers. To read more thoughts check out The Importance of Being a Better Writer and Writing and UXD. Today, I write about yet another instance where writing, better yet communication overall, can improve our work.
Some months ago (yes, it has taken me that long to post this idea), I read another article on the UX Leadership Journal that got my wheels spinning. The UXLJ is a site dedicated to talking about and promoting leadership in the UX field. If you’re someone that is sick and tired of UX not being respected in your organization, or just someone that is looking for thoughts and ideas on where we are and where we are going as far as leadership I would highly recommend checking it out.
The article Understanding Influence by Jess McMullin really drives home how influence is one of the top ways that we’ll become better leaders as well as essential to organizations. It makes total sense, the better influencers that we become, the more we’ll spread our ideas and talents and the more we’ll be needed to lead at a higher organizational level. In this article, Jess shares an infographic that describes the internal factors that a person has as well as the external factors that can be manipulated to influence the internal. The point of this post is to examine how writing contributes to those external factors.
The idea is that writing makes us better communicators. As does drawing, talking, and anything else that helps us practice how to express ourselves clearly and cohesively. I am talking about an active approach to trying to communicate better, and practicing writing is one way to do that. So, the formula is this if I can write better, then I can have more connective conversations with my co-workers/users which enables me to have the skills to influence others.
Ok, aside from just writing better, influence is huge… so try to communicate better. Instead of getting frustrated with your developers, business partners, project sponsors, etc look at ways to use communication to influence their interests, motivations, attitudes and priorities. If we do this, then we’ll no longer have to discuss why UX isn’t respected in organizations. Instead we’ll be complaining that there are too many high level UX jobs to be filled and not enough of us to fill them.