Jay’s User Manual

I was recently tasked to create my own user manual for the new team I’ll be joining at LinkedIn. I found this a wonderful exercise to demonstrate self-reflection, and share with your teammates who you are, and how you operate. I’d encourage you to do this yourself, share it with your colleagues, and get to know one another better. Here is mine as an example.

Who Am I

Getting responses and work done from me: 

  1. Working hours and locations:  
  • ~5:30AM – 7:00AM: I’m awake, can reply to emails if urgent, but will be doing my morning routine (mediation, reading, drinking my pu-erh tea).
  • ~7:00AM – 7:30AM: Bike to the office.
    • I enjoy drinking my coffee on for the first 20-30 minutes of the day catching up on readings in the industry and newsletters I subscribe to.
  • ~5:00PM try to get out of the office and go to the gym.
    • Will glance at emails and can reply if necessary, but I try to not bring my laptop home if possible to disconnect.
  • My calendar is up to date. 
  1. List channels in order of preference (i.e., Call > Text > Email>Slack>Teams):  
  • In person / Phone Call
  • Teams / Slack
  • Email
  • Text
  1. The best time to schedule meetings is:  
  • Anytime, with preference in the mornings. 

My style:

My personal culture in 3 words: 

  • Inquisitive: I’m curious about people and of ideas. If I leave a conversation not having learned something, I probably was not in the right state of mind to be in the conversation in the first place. I love reading books, blogs, and listening to podcasts – then sharing them with others through conversation or writing (blog + newsletter). I am perceptive of other people’s emotions, and work with this to guide the energy in the room.
  • Connector: I enjoy connecting people and ideas. If I see that someone could find value in speaking to someone in my network, I will introduce them (e.g. investor/founder, manager/employees, romantic partners). I also enjoy learning from different sources of content, and seek to find ideas that can transfer over subject matters (e.g. how does philosophy impact technology trends?).
  • Grateful: I think a lot about my parents and their struggle throughout their lives to provide for my sister and I. Thinking about this continuously leaves me grateful for my current situation, and leaves me more present and mindful to be the best version of myself as a friend, son, partner and colleague.

 I place high value on:

  • Being direct through clear and honest communication. 
  • Being thoughtful to emails / requests.
  • Being a realistic optimist. 
  • Being genuinely curious  with colleagues, customers, and partners.
  • Being intentional and following through.
  • Mindfulness and meditation. 
    • “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I spend the first four shaprening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln.

What I don’t have patience for:

  • People who don’t listen or ask questions and speak too much.
  • Not showing appreciation or appearing to take others for granted.
  • Complaining about the mundane aspects of work.
  • Coming to the table with problems but no solutions.

How I prefer communicating: 

  • Discussing in person and then writing up the decisions and next steps via email.
  • I learn most through conversation, which then spurs further reading on my own. I’ll know if I have grasped a concept if I can explain it in writing or verbally to someone else.

What people misunderstand about me: 

  • Despite being outgoing and personable, I like to spend time on my own. I usually will spend 2-3 hours a day by myself (usually before and after work). I will be friendly and engaging for hours, but will avoid conversation completely if I’m feeling reclusive. In social settings I’m  either the social butterfly, and at others times, will blend in to the crowd – happy to observe others in silence.
  • I like meeting new people, but the way I go about those conversations are different than other “networkers”. Regardless of the context, I am seeking to build a genuine connection with the other individual. Doing so creates trust, which can support you and the work you do. This should not be mistaken for wanting to be a people pleaser – I can be direct and tough when required.

Things I’m trying to get better at:

  • Balancing meeting new people with nurturing old relationships: I’ve received feedback recently that I need to do this, and I agree. Working to create a system for myself to do so.
  • Learning to become a better writer: Going through the exercise of putting your thoughts down on paper helps you test if you understand the ideas in your head, and leads to clearer thinking. Will try to do this during the first few months of this role to document learnings.
  • Learning how to become a better negotiator: Have been reading books, taking online courses, and been practicing these skills in my previous job. Hoping this role will help develop this skill 🙂

Other:  

  • I am passionate about mental/physical health, building relationships, and technological trends.
  • I’ve picked up writing, have a blog, and a newsletter I send out bi-weekly.
  • I love biking.
  • I’m passionate about supporting Women in the workforce and in society.
    • Currently a Co-Lead for an Allyship group for Women @ LinkedIn.
  • My love language is Words of Affirmation. 
  • Myers Briggs: ENFP.
  • 5 Dynamics: Explore (Abundant),  Excite (Effortless), Examine / Execute (Deliberate).

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