Hi! If you are reading this, there is a good chance we are/or we will be working together soon
Why are you writing this user guide? What do you hope will be the result of writing and sharing it?
My Example: I’m writing this user guide to give you a better sense of me and my unique values, quirks, and growth areas so that we can develop the strongest relationship possible. I encourage you to do the same and share your user guide with me as well.
What does being good at your job mean to you? What are some of the values that underpin your understanding of success?
My Example: A manager’s job is to continually aim for better and better outcomes for their team. If my team is not happy or not producing good work, then I am not doing a good job. A manager’s three major levers for better outcomes are: people—hiring, coaching, and matching the right person with the right role; purpose—clarity on what success looks like; and process—clarity on how to best work together. Of these three levers, I believe people is the most important.
What’s your communication style like? How have other people described it? What have you gotten feedback about in the past? How should others interpret what you do or say? Are there any aspects of communication that you are working on?
My Example: I am clearer in writing than in person. In person, I may talk through my thoughts out loud, which can sometimes feel rambly or sound confusing. If my point is not absolutely clear, please ask me to clarify or be precise with action items.
What are the causes of misunderstandings that you’ve had in the past? What are some things about your leadership or working style that other people criticize or misunderstand? What quirks or mannerisms might unintentionally annoy a different personality type?
My Example: Being a designer, I am very comfortable with ambiguity and living in the gray zone where there is potentially a better idea just around the corner. This can be annoying to people who want to nail down specifics or who want to commit to plans and then not change them.
What makes you trust someone else? Conversely, what triggers you? What are the qualities you value that inspire your trust?
My Example: I appreciate people who make commitments and stick to them. If you are the overly optimistic type (I am one as well) who tends to overcommit to more than can be reasonably done, I expect you to come to recognize and improve on this over time, and to reset expectations as soon as you realize a commitment can’t be fulfilled. I lose trust in people who repeatedly fail to honor their commitments to do X by Y.
What do you love to do, and what are you good at? What can you help others with?
My Example: I’m good at staying calm, collected, and optimistic. I don't get overly emotional, and I do a good job of staying balanced. I like to look for the good in everyone and in every situation, and I believe things can be great. This makes me effective at pitching projects, giving presentations, and selling candidates.
What are your blind spots? What are you working on? What can others help you with?
My Example: I’d like to work on getting right to the point of what I’m saying rather than talking around an idea.
What do you consider a stellar job for someone on your team? What do you consider a mediocre or bad job? What’s unique about your expectations that may differ from other managers?
How do you like to stay in sync with your reports or colleagues? What preferences do you have for one-on-one meetings? Would you prefer people to contact you via email, chat, or in-person? What’s your availability outside of working hours?
What is your philosophy around feedback? What can people expect in receiving feedback from you? How would you prefer to receive feedback from your peers?