How to navigate meetings as an introverted designer

A guide to avoiding Design by Committee and other pitfalls

Photo by Evangeline Shaw on Unsplash

Understanding the organizational fear of creativity

Creativity, for many organizations, is a buzzword. Corporations view “creativity” as a nice idea, but in practice it runs counter to what they were taught.

TWAS, an acronym to help guide a meeting

You’re going to have to speak up just a little bit, but these things are crucial to say to redirect the flow of the meeting.

“Tell me about the problem.”

One of the most crucial things to do is to get them away from talking about solutions. The easiest way to do that is to get them to focus on the problem (and it’s very helpful for you as well).

“Let me Write that down.”

One of the most important things to showcase is that you’re actively listening if you’re not speaking. Writing down notes is a way to show that you’re listening and paying attention to the stakeholders at the meeting.

“Who could Answer that?” or (“Can I Ask a question?”)

Inevitably, there is going to be a bit of ambiguity around something in the problem. It’s important that you address that, even if people are ignoring it right now: establishing it as a potential problem avoids defaulting to bad solutions later which just avoid that later.

“Is this Sketch what you’re thinking?” or (“can I Show you after the meeting?”)

Bring paper, Post-Its, or index cards if possible. One of the most powerful design tools for problems is visualization. It’s not uncommon, if executives are talking about solutions, for someone to step up to a whiteboard to try and draw what they’re thinking.

In-meeting quick summary

TWAS, acronym to help you out:

Top writer in UX Design. UX, Data Visualization and Data Science. Author of Data Persuasion: https://tinyurl.com/rndb9bw. Substack: dataanddesign.substack.com

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