F 0.3 — Personal user manual

Last year I wrote my first personal user manual and I decided to update it for two reasons. One, to make it shorter. My goal as a writer is to be as concise as possible. Two, because I gained a better understanding of myself. I'm always in the process of updating my beliefs and solving my shortcomings, updating this manual is a great way to make the changes visible for me and others.

What are some honest, unfiltered things about you?

I love learning and I'm great at it. I'm optimistic and earnest which may seem naive or idealistic. I'm a bit of everything, but I back up my optimism with data and long-term thinking.

Sometimes I take the difficult route because I love to challenge myself. This ends up to be time consuming; I'm learning how to ask for help from people that have more experience and are willing to help.

What drives you nuts?

Mess, not having everything labeled and categorized. I think naming my personal files and layers makes me more productive in the long term. Also, I don't like when people don't value my time or make wrong assumptions about who I am.

What are your quirks?

Sometimes I'm very strict, organized, mindful of my time and I expect the same from others. Took me a while, but now I understand that other people have other way of working and being that is also valid.

How can people earn an extra gold star with you?

By showing me a general direction that I can take to learn something new. I value clarity, having everything structured but also leaving some space for improvisation.

What qualities do you particularly value in people who work with you?

The most important attributes for me are being able to adapt, a multidisciplinary approach, creative problem solving and having a lot of hobbies! I think people that have a passion and find joy in their life out of work are the best people to be around. Not only they will be more interesting, they will also use some of their skills from other spheres to make more meaningful work.

What are some things that people might misunderstand about you that you should clarify?

Because I have so many interests, sometimes people think I lack focus or strategic thinking. The former is half true, I enjoy dabbling at multiple projects at the time but everything I do is working towards a long term goal. I value my time and I'm aware at how I spend every moment. I rarely do something out of boredom, everything fits in a bigger picture.

How do you coach people to do their best work and develop their talents?

I believe in people. I think everyone has a secret super power that can be enhanced by understanding themselves, their shortcomings and advantages.

I learned this by teaching roller derby bootcamps for all levels. Some people only need a nudge of confidence to become their best self.

What’s the best way to communicate with you?

Email is still the best way to communicate with me. I keep my inbox tidy, always under 10 emails. If you want me to do something, send me an email about it. I can communicate in Discord and Slack, but email is always preferred.

What’s the best way to convince you to do something?

If that something that fits my overall interests and if I can learn something new out of it. Because that is a broad definition, I usually take a look at how it fits in my current goals. If something makes sense in the long-term, I'll do it without hesitation.

How do you like to give feedback?

I ask a lot of questions, almost Socratic I guess, to understand what information would be the most useful for the person to know. If there isn't something, I think just talking out loud with someone usually gets the job done.

How do you like to get feedback?

I like people to be straightforward and give me feedback directly. I rarely take it personal. I prefer to have a big chunk of feedback to work through because I enjoy solving problems on my own, but I also know that sometimes getting feedback earlier is better. It depends on the situation. I'm aware that I don’t know how to do everything and I still have plenty of technical skills to master, I'm always open to feedback.


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