I came across how a “User Manual” can greatly improve teamwork and make a team more productive and efficient. Having experienced workplace friction for over seven years now, I couldn’t agree more. Here’s my “Professional” User Manual for your reference, to ensure our time working together if the opportunities arise are productive.

Speedy Work & Making Mistakes

I value speedy work over deliberate work more because I understand that everyone make mistakes, no matter how careful or deliberate you are. By failing faster, one can learn more and hence, able to improve fast.

By overthinking, we are prone to get analysis paralysis and still doesn’t improve our odds of not making mistakes. Statistically, it will still happen.

However, it is not an excuse to justify recklessness. Making a mistake fast is not the same as making a reckless mistake. A reckless mistake happened when we fail to learn the lessons from our previous mistakes.

Working Time

I enjoy working “unregulated” (voluntary) extended work hours but I don’t ask for other people to enjoy the same. Too many people work extended hours will just defeat the purpose. I enjoy the extended work hours because it is much more quiet and I can focus more. I can get a lot more proper thinking done. This is the period when I do deep analysis.

While I enjoy additional hours on workdays, weekend is personal time in which I have a lot of activities lined up for self-improvements. If there is an emergency, I am more than willing to show up and do the work, but emergency shouldn’t occur more than a few times in a year.

My Process of Handling Conflicts

I avoid conflicts. For me if I need to justify myself, I already lose. 

First if it’s trivial matter, I will accede to you. If it’s not trivial matter, I will state my opinion and I will listen to what you have to say. If we can reach an agreement, good. If not, or if the agreement is reneged along the way, I will see what do you actually want. You want to be right, or you want to be correct.

If you want to be correct, I will take a few more tries to ensure both of us arrive at the correct decision. If you just want to be right, I will do what you want me to do and I will quietly withdraw or steer away so not to make a scene.

I don’t believe in having a heart to heart session to trash out our differences. If such session have any chance to work, it should already happen along the way. For example, I have a few close friends in which I often had disagreements. However, we always have heart to heart talk, almost every day or weeks. Just that we don’t label it as so.

If a heart to heart session is officially organised, it means the relationship is already broken beyond repair.

How I Help Colleagues Get Better at Their Job

I am always willing to help, offer advices in any way I can. It’s very difficult for me to say “No”.

If I am occupied and the help is not time sensitive, I will reprioritise, but I will do it. Don’t worry.

However, I will say “No”, if I am too occupied and I am in a deep shit myself or if I see that the person requesting help is selfish (don’t worry, it will take a few times for me to discover this. So everyone will get the benefit of doubts for the first few times)

How I Help My Colleagues Get Better at Their Jobs?

I like to offer unconventional solutions for hard problems. Come to me when you have exhausted all feasible options. Together, we might make something work.

When Your Colleagues Make Mistakes, What Can You Help?

I love helping people who make mistakes. Who doesn’t make mistakes? When talking about mistakes, there are only two kinds of people. 

People who make mistakes, and people who forgot that they too have make mistakes.

I may not stand up to your bullies, but I will cheer you up so that you have enough courage to beat your bullies, physically or mentally.

On a more serious notes, I can listen to you. And if required, am more than willing to offer a few advices and tips.

One Thing You Want Your Colleagues to Know About You

I don’t get better through public confrontation. I am always approachable. Talk to me. Convince me. It’s not hard to convince me to do the right things. But please keep an open mind and understand that there are many right ways to do things. If you are open about the many right options there is to do something, and clearly mine isn’t one of it, I will switch. I promise. 

Praise publicly, correct privately.

Okay, that’s my professional user manual. It’s not rigid, because after all, it’s just a user manual. The above is the optimum condition in which I will perform best. I can still perform beyond the prescribed condition, but in the process something may get broken or suffer a burn-out.