Thanks Andrew for this forward which discusses whether bosses should write “user’s manuals” for their teams to the end of working better with them.
I confess that I like the idea despite the decidedly mixed reviews that such manuals get in this piece.
After a few years in the manager role, I certainly now feel at ease telling/warning people of when I function better and less so (better in the morning, better with the bigger picture than details, I’ll likely review it faster if you print it for me etc.).
Where the idea of these manuals may go off the rails is the distinction between telling people that they must adapt to a certain kind of style versus, providing an idea where a person may function with most ease with the acknowledgement that we can adapt as the situation demands with greater or lesser ease.
Bottom line, I do think “user manuals” do provide a good baseline for a new employee/manager relationship – I don’t expect you to read my mind about what I’d like and by the same token, I know myself well enough to know that there are some key preferences which, though not carved in stone, can be useful to know.