Write Your Personal User Manual

User manual.Working in a diverse team can be challenging. Even if your goals are aligned and your responsibilities within the team are clearly understood, there’s still a mix of communication styles, personalities, and backgrounds.

But imagine if every member of your team had a “user manual” which made clear much of what lurks beneath the surface? What if you could refer to someone’s user manual in order to understand their style, values, how to best communicate with them, and what they don’t have patience for?

In this article, “Completing this 30-minute exercise makes teams less anxious and more productive,” writer Leah Fessler outlines this idea, as developed by Ivar Kroghrud, former CEO, and lead strategist at the software company QuestBack. According to the piece:

“The user manual aims to help people learn to adapt to one another by offering an explicit description of one’s personal values and how one works best with others. This shortens the learning curve for new employees, and helps everyone avoid misunderstandings.”

While it’s not always embraced with open arms, it does foster honest conversations which can be helpful for smoothing team interactions.

What do you think? Would your team go for it? Learn about writing your own user manual and the steps to do it here:


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