The idea of a “personal user manual” (like a README) comes from workplaces – to facilitate relationships with co-workers and help new joiners get acquainted with the team (an example is the one by Gitlab’s CEO).
But also outside of work, I like this idea – just imagine you could get to know someone before you actually meet, leading to less awkwardness and more efficient collaboration.
Here is my README:
I prefer informal language – feel free to call me Benjamin or simply Ben.
I am always busy, and I can always make time for you. But I don’t have time for people that have no time for me.
I am always happy to help others. Here is how.
I value working with reliable people, which includes honesty, punctuality, and trustworthiness.
Please let me know if you’re running late for more than five minutes. You can expect the same from me.
I believe people can only make good decisions if they have sufficient information. If I need to know something, please tell me directly and don’t make me guess.
I don’t believe in work-life balance. I believe in working on something meaningful that isn’t disconnected from other parts of your life.
I am pragmatic and I care about outcomes, not if things are done the right way.
I am an early bird and most productive in the morning but I am usually asleep before midnight.
If urgent, call me. I never listen to voice messages, but I’ll call you back.
You cannot over-communicate. If in doubt, tell me again. And I don’t mind hearing things twice.
I am not discussing for the sake of discussing but to find out the best outcome for everyone involved. I tend to cut off discussions if I don’t feel they’re productive.
I am not resentful; we’re playing tit-for-tat. As a rule of thumb, I am not bringing up issues that happened more than a month ago. If there’s an issue, I will tell you immediately.
I consider it rude to focus on your phone in a social setting (“phubbing”). Conversations are better face-to-face.
I believe in myself, not deities.
I am living in the future – envisioning and preparing for it.
I believe in doing good better, effective altruism, and data-driven decision-making.
Jakob was the first to introduce me to personal user manuals.