Personal User Manual

Career Empowerment: Personal User Manuals (for Colleagues)

Create Your Personal User Manual

Whenever we need to learn how to operate and interact with a new piece of technology, software, or kitchen appliance, we usually refer to the user manual. It clearly outlines the different parts and pieces, how to use them, and how to mend them, should something go awry.

Relationships, personal and professional, are just as complex as any technology, so why not create a personal user manual to navigate through this more smoothly?

The idea of a Personal User Manual has become more popular over the years; coined by Adam Bryant and expanded on by  Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy in their book No Hard Feelings: The Power of Embracing Emotions at Work.

What is a Personal User Manual?

A Personal User Manual gives you and your team an opportunity to explore and explain how you work. At Ama La Vida, we encourage our team members to complete one at the beginning of their time here and share everyone’s individual responses publicly for everyone to see. This allows for all of our employees, new and seasoned, to reflect back on a few key things about their teammates and managers in order to soften the learning curve and learn how to best collaborate with each person, in their own words.

Personal User Manuals and Psychological Safety

Personal User Manuals are a tool that has gained popularity in recent years for improving communication and collaboration in the workplace. According to research, creating and sharing a Personal User Manual can promote psychological safety in a team, which is the sense of feeling safe to take interpersonal risks without fear of negative consequences. In one study, employees who shared Personal User Manuals with their team reported higher levels of psychological safety, which in turn led to increased innovation and higher job satisfaction. Personal User Manuals can help team members understand each other’s communication preferences, work styles, and boundaries, which can reduce misunderstandings and conflicts and promote a more positive team dynamic.

In this module, you will be able to create your own Personal User Manual, and send it to all of your teammates to complete their own. At the end, you’ll receive your responses and we will also send them to the person who originally sent you this invitation.