Professional Relationships

Skill layer:
Community of Practice
Professional Relationships
While this skill may include some of those inside your organization, it ultimately focuses on how you create and maintain healthy relationships outside of your immediate, current workplace, and understand the larger conversation about the work as it exists outside of your specific place of work.
How well-connected am I to our larger professional community?
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Human focus:

"I'd like to add you to my professional network." is a punchline now, but it does speak to the important of having a professional network. It doesn't mean your connection count, and it's not about how many meetups and networking events you've been to. This human skill speaks to your ability to have interesting and open conversations about the nature of your work, and occasionally the work itself, with other practitioners.

Participating in a community of practice can happen online, in person at a conference, a meetup, a slack channel, a video chat, or an email. And it's something you can get good at: consider how you want to interact, how you can make productive use of your time, find the people who you have interesting conversations with.

Paying attention to a few interesting relationships means you can build a support network, get outside perspectives, offer help and guidance, and ask for the same when you need it. It's often these relationships that start from a mutual spark of interest that lead to side projects, partnerships, friendships, or jobs as you both carry on in the world. And it doesn't take a lot of time, but it does take attention, effort, genuine interest.

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Amplifies craft skills:

Last updated:
May 10, 2020 22:13


  • Read Tim Yeo's article on Design Leadership for Introverts; he gave a great talk of the same name in Milan at Interaction 20—keep an eye out for the video (Hasn't been posted yet—DH)
  • Look around you for the meetups, events, workshops, conferences, and conversations that spark your curiousity. Engage enough to find out where those ideas are coming from, and—if it's interesting—find out how to engage one step further... Start with the threads that are close to real and concrete situations you are working with now.
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