Manual of Me helps you explore, uncover and communicate how you work best together.
Matthew Knight, creator of the Manual of Me platform, explains where the concept came from, why it's powerful, and why it's never been more needed.
There's no such thing as an average human - we all have different and diverse needs, preferences, desires, interests and ways of working - and modern work has never more needed better ways to explore, communicate and support people working in different ways, together.
A Manual of Me is a simple but powerful concept to communicate to others what you need to do your best work, what you bring a project, how you need support, how you work - and what needs to be true for you to thrive.
At it's heart - it's a simple document which lists an individual's preferences and working styles. But beyond that, it's a powerful way to create space, time and support for people to share their differences, create inclusion and connection - and most critically, build stronger and more human relationships with each other.
Ask the question,
support the answer.
Increasing numbers of businesses are using this technique, asking their people to complete a template when they join a team, or as part of teaming exercises.
We've traced the idea of a 'personal user manual' back to the early 2000s in this article by Ben Dattner, and if you have a google, you'll find lots of examples of people who are creating their own - many referencing Cassie Robinson's blogpost from 2017.
But having an empty piece of paper can be daunting, and big statements like "What motivates you?" or "Where do you do your best work?" don't always have an easy to reach answer.
If you've been fortunate enough to have coaching, you might already have the answers - but most people have not. That's why we built Manual of Me - to both help you choose what you want to communicate, but also support you in finding the answers.
Manual of Me is both a tool to create, write and share your manual, but also includes exercises and activities to help you discover your answers - the really important part.
Designed for modern work
Our particular version of Manual of Me came out of working in an organisation where cross-functional teams where put together rapidly for short bursts of time - not unusual as businesses change how they work, use external contractors and freelancers, and more recently, adopt flexible, remote and diverse working patterns.
We wanted to find a way to help people start working together quickly - by getting to know the important things about each other quickly - communication preferences, work styles, times they'd be around or not around, passions outside of the office, and most importantly, how we could support them to work well.
Many of these things are hidden or unknown, until you come up against them. Manual of Me gives people an opportunity to share things they need to share, ask questions they want to know, and create more awareness and teams which inclusive by design, starting with communication.
Since the Pandemic hit, and more people are working remotely or as part of a hybrid team - we've seen a huge explosion in the number of people looking for better ways to build stronger relationships within teams - and we're glad to see Manual of Me as one of those techniques.
An ever evolving tool.
This version of Manual of Me is now around four years old, and will continue to evolve as we understand how people are using it, what is effective and valuable, and as we discover new ways to help people uncover and communicate how they work well.
You're part of this - tell us what works, what you need, and how we can make our platform as powerful for you as possible. We're a team of one, so not everything is immediately possible, but we'll do everything we can to make Manual of Me a powerful tool for you and your career.
Likewise, this is just the online version of the tool - and the most effective use is in the real world, with real people and real conversations - we've worked with countless individuals, organisations and teams to help them create manuals - and I'm always happy to chat and share how different organsiations and teams are making use of the concept, and how I can help you implement a Manual of Me for you and your people.