How to write a User Manual by example
"When I get a car, I get a user manual to go with it. Yet when I meet new people, which are infinitely more complicated than cars, I don't have a manual of any kind. I need to figure out how to work with them trial and error."
Personal user manuals intend to flatten the "learning curve" for people with whom you work. I like this idea, so I decided to write one for myself. If we’ve worked together and you find this manual self-unaware, please let me know!
- Focus: I need sustained concentration to get anything serious done.
- Slow and steady: I take my time doing things at which I want to succeed.
- Learn, learn, learn: I love learning about new topics and new people through experience. I find it helps me get a better perspective on problems I'm trying to solve.
- Servant Leadership: I tend to put the needs of others before my own. I temper this self-sacrifice with a healthy dose of self-care in an attempt to avoid burnout.
What I Value
- Attention to detail shows you care about your work.
- Honesty shows you care about solving problems instead of keeping appearances.
- Personality shows you care about being the best version of you.
- Strong ethics shows you stand up for what you believe in.
- A well-rounded skillset shows you have a diverse background and enjoy learning new things.
What I can't stand
- Unaccountability shows I can't trust you, and I can't work with people I can't trust. Mistakes are fine; own up to them.
- Micromanagement shows you're trying to do my job, which defeats my purpose.
- Tribalism or blind agreement shows you aren't willing to consider other perspectives. Diversity is the key to good products.
- Wasting my time, since I strive for an anti-fragile work-life alignment, but I don't want to work more than necessary.
- 99% Asynchronous. I see little need for meetings. Send me an email and I will get back to you.
- All killer, no filler. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
How to help me
- Remind me to take a break. I don't like leaving work unfinished. This behavior monopolizes my time and burns me out.
- Tell me when I set impossible standards. I tend to impose my own high standards on others. I'm deprogramming this perfectionistic tendency; in the meantime, call me out.
- Related: remind me to trust you at first. I tend to take on everything myself if I don't trust others to get it done, denying them opportunities to gain my trust. It's a bad habit from school.
- Give me clear deliverables when possible.
- That I dislike people. I can tolerate or work with anyone in the right dose.