Manual Of Me

by @edent | # #

At a recent Staff Away-Day, we were encouraged to write a "Manual of Me". A quick summary of the general ways that you like to work. I don't spend much time on introspection and I found it disturbingly personal. So here's mine for you to enjoy! Excuse my crappy drawing and even crappier spelling.

Here's a cleaner version with a bit more detail:

Conditions I like to work in

  • Quiet
    • I hate it when all I can hear is other people's phone conversations. I either use earplugs, white-noise, or instrumental music.
  • Friendly
    • I can't be bothered with conflict. I don't want people raging at each other. It's nice when people bring in cakes.

Hours I like to work

  • 1000 - 1600 (core hours)
    • I like to work on the train home and back, it feels more productive and gently gears me up for the day / winds me down.
    • I'm happier working late than I am coming in early. But if I'm WFH, anything goes.
  • Flex and WFH
    • If I don't have anything in my diary, I just work from home. I greatly value the freedom to set and flex my own hours based on what is needed.
      • An hour for lunch
      • Not observed too much! I try to carve out a space where I'm not looking at emails. If I can, I get out of the office. I need a bit of time to decompress and regroup.

Best ways to communicate with me

  • Email
    • I track everything in email. I don't have email alerts on my phone - I choose when to go into it.
  • IM
    • For quick blasts of synchronous comms. Usually for anything urgent as it's on my phone alerts.
  • Work Mode
    • Once I've left work for the day / week, I turn off work mode. I don't get any alerts.

The ways I like to receive feedback

  • Email
    • I have a "Praise Him" file. In there, I shove every "thank you" email. At end-of-year review, I pull them out. The really nice ones I show to my wife to let her know I'm not getting fired just yet.
    • For negative stuff, also email. I don't like confrontation, and I would rather consider it rather than just react to it.
    • I don't enjoy being praised in public - nor being chastised!

Things I need

  • Directness
    • I hate stuff which is emailed to a dozen people and says "could one of you write something about this issue." Errr, what? Be specific about what you want, and tell us who should be replying.
    • Obliqueness annoys me. I remember a frustrating conference call where someone said "Of course, we know who is behind this." Errr, no. I called him out on that. Turned out most people on the call didn't know what he was wittering on about.

Things I struggle with

  • Vague Deadlines
    • If you don't give me a date, it goes to the bottom of the pile. My pile is pretty big.
  • Inflexible policy
    • "That's just the policy" sends me into an incandescent rage. We have to flex before we break.
  • Bureaucracy
    • But why do you need me to print this out three times and post it to you? Just accept an email you dolt!
  • Pointless meetings
    • If a meeting doesn't have an agenda and some set actions at the end, you'd better either buy me a drink or supply some biscuits.

Things I love

  • Templates
    • Creating stuff from scratch is hard. I don't know how you want it formatted or how much detail you want.
  • The Open Mission!
    • I genuinely have a sense of purpose with the open agenda, especially in health care.
  • Story telling
    • I love telling stories. Standing in front of people and explaining what we're doing and why we're doing it.

Other things to know about me

  • (This was the hardest thing to write. I've no idea why...)
  • Video Conferences is better than Face-to-Face.
    • I only sorta believe this one. But I'm generally happier to have a videocall than a meeting.

That's me! Was that helpful?

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