User Manual to Me

NIELS GOTT was our facilitator for USER MANUAL TO ME.

This activity isn’t so much a ‘game’ as we usually like to do but it is a tool that can be very useful for a team to better understand each other in order to build trust and improve psychological safety. This is especially helpful for new teams, but can be used as a reboot for teams that have started to develop some interpersonal conflict. Niels was listening to Brave New Work recently and was reminded of this concept so thought this would be a great spot to test it out again.

We had a great time testing this ourselves. The idea of the ‘user manual for working with me’ was first mentioned almost 10 years in The Corner Office, a New York Times column by Adam Bryant. Bryant was interviewing Ivar Kroghrud, the lead strategist at QuestBack, and he explained how it worked.

Some tips we talked about today:

  • Use this as a conversation, and definitely share directly with each other, whether virtual or in-person. This should not be a ‘readme’ that is a proxy for actual connection. An option is to make these available to the team to refer to after the fact, but only after sharing directly with each other.
  • Pairing this with other personality inventories can be very powerful as well.

Downloadable Template: PDF

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