How to Work With Me

First, see this item; it explains what's going on in the text below. Also, this is a bit incomplete; I may well revisit and revise.
  • What are some honest, unfiltered things about you?
- I've always been the one who stands out; this makes my relation with the rest of the world asymmetric.
- I believe that here isn't anything I can't understand in principle, though learning does take time, though for me, not very much time. This makes me impatient with people sometimes (it also makes me a lot more generous with people in other cases).
- I don't trust people. I fear rejection. I take many things more personally than I should. I feel things very deeply.
  • What drives you nuts?
- People who tell me what to do (or what I can't do), especially is there's no clear reason for this. I'm not a fan of power or authority generally.
- People who treat me with disrespect, or who believe they are more important or more valuable than me.
  • What are your quirks?
- I'm not comfortable in unstructured social situations like parties or dinners.
- I think in metaphors. I'm not linear; I'll jump very rapidly from limited evidence to an explanation.
- Also, I am the one who speaks out when someone cuts in line, takes advantage of another, or behaves in an unjust or unfair manner. 
  • How can people earn an extra gold star with you?
- Be supportive. Be reliable. Be some I can count on. Keep your word.
- Be nice to me. Tell me where my work has made a contribution. Let me know if I've done good.
  • What qualities do you particularly value in people who work with you?
- Independence and innovation. I like people who find solutions rather than problems. Criticisms are easy (and I've probably thought of them already). Solutions are hard. Making things work is hard.
- Dedication. I prefer it when people value what they are doing, when it's more than just a job.  
  • What are some things that people might misunderstand about you that you should clarify?
- It's very hard for me to initiate communication with someone and I would much rather have people come to me (conversely, if I have initiated communication with you, I have already done something very hard, and so whatever it is is important to me).
- Just because I'm not smiling doesn't mean I'm not happy; I just don't smile a lot.
  • How do you coach people to do their best work and develop their talents?
- I'm not really a hands-on coach
- I give people a lot of latitude to find their own way and create their own solutions.
- I recognize effort and contributions, and will give credit in public.
- I am open and approachable and will provide any advice and support needed, if asked.
  • What’s the best way to communicate with you?
It depends. For most things, email. If it's really important, talk to me, but keep in mind that I'm always on edge when talking with people, especially about important things.
  • What’s the best way to convince you to do something?
Ask me for help.
  • How do you like to give feedback?
I much prefer a structured feedback mechanism, such as a regular report at a meeting, so that the recipient knows that it isn't capricious or personal. Or comments on a document, so the criticism is structured around a common object.
  • How do you like to get feedback?
The same. 


    1. I REALLY appreciate the post that inspired this and your willingness to apply it to yourself to show how this might be done. It has made me realize that I am quite different (perhaps everyone is?), and things would work better if people used a process like this rather than using the silly and unvalidated tools like Myers Briggs that really don't tell you much of anything.

      Doing this helps you understand what people you work with need and what areas of similarity you have. Plus, it is really beneficial to think through these aspects of your work self. For example, I might write something down and realize the problems that working in this way could cause.

      Thank you. This might be one of the most valuable things I have come across in a long while, Stephen.

    2. Hi Stephen,
      I'd like to echo Patti's comments. This is really helpful.


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