Working with me [part 1]: my user manual.

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I’ve been meaning to get this written up and published for a while, so day 2 of #NaBloPoMo feels like the perfect opportunity!

Like many others, I was inspired by Cassie Robinson’s blog post last August on user manuals and the user manuals published by Matt, Dan, Audree, Zoe, Neil and Richard. Richard has done a brilliant job collecting all of the various user guides that are out there — so do take a look at his.

A little bit about me

I think of myself as a pretty open person, so most of what follows shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Back when I worked in the Home Office, I absolutely put on a mask and brought a different version of ‘myself’ to the workplace. When I joined the ODI, I could bring my whole self to work for the first time, and that’s something I continue to do at the MOJ.

I’ve been at the MOJ for nearly a year(!) and my role has been evolving quite a bit recently. Firstly, from Head of External Relationships to Head of Open Culture, and I’m currently acting Deputy Director for the Data Driven Department and Culture Change team. I work in a small, ‘start-up style’ team and a part of my role is to develop leadership skills and encourage the use of new ways of working across the Department. My role is very much the sweet spot where Data and Culture Change meet, and I’ll share more on that in future blog posts.

I absolutely see my user manual as a living document, and something I’ll iterate as my own leadership journey develops. So here’s my first version.

Conditions I like to work in

  • As an extrovert, I am energised when I am surrounded by people and I prefer to come into the office.

The times/hours I like to work

  • I’m at my desk by 08:30, and I like to leave the office by 18:00.

The best ways to communicate with me

  • Face to face. I really like going outside for a walk and talk.

The ways I like to receive feedback

  • I would refer people to be direct with me — even if it might be difficult — and want feedback to be delivered face to face, so that there are no misunderstandings.

Things I need

  • Trust and openness

Things I struggle with

  • Having a meeting dominated by a few loud voices. I’m a natural empath and always scan the room to see when people want to speak, or ask what they think, to bring them into the conversation.

Things I love

  • Ideation and co-design. I’m at my happiest when I’m leading a diverse group of people to solve a problem.

Other things to know about me

  • I am an ENFJ. I know the Myers Briggs has its flaws, but I feel it’s pretty representative of who I am.

So, was this what you expected?

Part 2 of my ‘working with me’ series will focus on my values.

Design, leadership, open culture, data, ethics, justice. These are my personal thoughts on work.

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