You’ve written this in the context of Silicon Valley job interviews, but of course it applies everywhere and in everything. I’m a freelance designer, and I’ve repeatedly talked about how it’s all the other soft skills not related to your technical craft which set you apart from the crowd. What you describe as skills that help empower your team, I use as skills to help empower my clients and cement long-term relationships and trust.

It’s absolutely true that people in design and development are too caught up in tools and processes, at the expense of not learning how to communicate well and run cohesive teams and businesses. As you’ve so accurately pointed out, it doesn’t matter how good your technical skills are if you’re a jerk.

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I’m a UX/UI designer from Auckland, New Zealand. Writing about freelancing & business for indie designers & creatives at https://solowork.co

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