Professional and Organizational Development: Project Management

How to Create a Personal User’s Manual

Posted by NBDC Communications on Nov 13, 2019 4:14:20 PM
NBDC Communications

Dan Pink, author of two of my favorite books, Drive and When, has a bi-weekly newsletter and video. The idea for this e-newsletter comes from his “Pinkcast.” Check it out here.

The idea that intrigued me is creating a User’s Manual about yourself to give to your co-workers. Include:
  • What increases your energy? What saps it?
  • How best to communicate to me.
  • What are my pet peeves?
  • What people tend to misunderstand about me?

What increases your energy? What saps it?

What saps your energy? If coworkers know in advance about the situations that affect your energy levels, they may understand lesser degrees of concentration at those times.

What increases your energy? Are you a morning person or do you not really wake up until noon? Good to know about each other, don’t you think?

How best way to communicate to me

Here’s a story from the communications chief that served both President Kennedy and then President Johnson. He wrote written reports for President Kennedy. The president would read them and then ask questions. So, when the communications chief started working with Johnson, he wrote reports … which Johnson didn’t want to read. He found it necessary to report verbally to Johnson. Are you a Kennedy or a Johnson? Let coworkers know.

What are my pet peeves?

I have a couple of hot button topics. When coworkers push them, they may get a more emphatic response than they will get with other issues. Knowing this may prevent misinterpretations or overreactions.

What people tend to misunderstand about me

We all want to be understood, but we all process information in different ways. Sensitivity to this will help us communicate more efficiently and effectively with our team. NBDC has a class by Dr. Kim Wiseman, “How to Communicate More Effectively,” that may help. The class includes Dr. Wiseman’s assessment tool for free and can help individuals and teams hoping to work better together.

So, when are you going to start creating your user manual? If everyone did it, we’d probably have a more productive organization.

Topics: Professional Development

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