Personal user manual

The opposite of a Definitive Guide of Laura

June 16, 2020

A few weeks ago I found an article on Ness Labs about creating a personal user manual. Your user manual is a short document that communicates the basics of who you are, your preferences and communication style. It is a tool to foster psychological safety and build trust in the workplace.

For me, this article is a tool for a future work environment and a writing exercise of self discovery. Giving new people a quick glance at my personality and preferences can diminish the possibilities of misunderstandings. It can also be useful to create bonds over shared experiences or start conversations about topics in common.

Writing is a great tool for discovery, it is in itself a hard task, and it gets harder when you think about sharing it. By doing so, I realized how many things I still need to explore and reevaluate. The prompts in the article made me reflect on who I am right now, what I know about myself and what could be the best way to communicate with new people.

Here is my attempt at my user manual. It is not meant to be The Definitive Guide of Laura, but it is a great start.


Give a brief overview of who you are, where you come from, and your career history.


What are your ideal conditions to work in?

While most jobs are a combination of collaboration and solo work...


What’s the best way to reach you in case something is urgent?


Share how you like to receive feedback.


Share how people can help you and how you can help others.



What are some things that people might misunderstand about you that you should clarify?



This is a fun section to share anything that can give people a better sense of your personal interests.

I'm curious about how I'm going to feel in 6 months or one year about this article. I hope that I can see my improvement. Now that you know me a bit better, you can guess how that is going to go.

Also, if you think something is missing, please let me know. I'm always in for additional reflection and, who knows, maybe a personal user manual part two.

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