I recently came across a user manual that someone in my company had written. It was called “The <insert name> user manual”. I was intrigued.
It was a nifty way of telling other people how to work with you. Instead of letting your colleagues figure out your working style through trial and error, just tell them plainly.
I have come across several user manuals since then. As I begin to write my own user manual, i wanted to share how you can get started with writing your own.
- Basic info : Tell people your name, pronunciation, pronouns (if you are into that) and share some basic public profile
- Mindset : This is your opportunity to tell people whats your mindset at work.
- Do you work well as a team or individual
- What kind of vibe do you bring to work
- Whats your learning style
- Whats your management style
- Risk appetite
- what matters to you at work – what drives you
- what kind of people do you jive with
- Ways of working : this is where you tell people how you work. Here are some topics you can include in this section.
- how you think (visual, auditory etc)
- how you conduct meetings
- how do you get in the zone
- whats your typical schedule like
- whats your communication style : are you direct, do you think out loud, do you prefer to think and take your time before you speak,
- Whats the best way to reach you : emails, text, call, instagram etc and expected time to respond
- Do you micromanage or are you hands off
- Do you want more autonomy or more direction
- how/if do you maintain a work life balance
- Personality : You spend so much of your life working, its good to give people a peek into your personality so that they can engage with you accordingly. Some things you could talk about are :
- persuasion style
- intrinsic motivations
- Personal : i am a strong believer of making strong, healthy relationships at work. I think it greatly improves both your general happiness as well as your impact. Giving people a chance to really get to know you is a great way of building these relationships. Things you could talk about here :
- Where did you grow up
- Taste in books/movies
This is just one way of doing things – take what you find useful. Have fun creating your own user manual and sharing it with colleagues – maybe try creating a friendship or a relationship user manual for sharing with your friends or your significant other 😛