Two Directing Principles for All Guidelines
Most Important: Candor. No wishy-washy. If something is unclear, hasn’t happened, won’t be done on the desired schedule, uncomfortable, not suitable, desired otherwise - it’s all good, really. Just please put it on the table.
Second Most Important: Time is my most valuable resource. For each and every one of us, really. The more we can spare it, the better.
I strongly prefer, if possible, that we talk efficiently and shortly.
And even preferable: writing shortly (I’m not available for calls most of the time)
If something can be done over Whatsapp rather than a call - preferred
When texting – less stories and more bullet points
If something’s verbose – add an executive summary/tl;dr at the top, and a reference to agreed documentation (Google Drive, Workflowy, Trello)
If there’s a call – we arrive prepared. It’s worthwhile that we know in advance where everything is at, what’s the status, what is the next step, who’s doing it, and when it’s happening.
Another thing that is important to me on calls is to receive a framework and context. What are we going to talk about, what’s the purpose, what are the topics at hand. Be direct.
And if you’re uncertain → back to the first principle – no wishy-washy. Simply say and coorecy. I commit to do the same.
I Have An Idea
I have many ideas. Sometimes they’re worth checking twice, a day or two apart, to validate the idea and whether it’s still worth pursuing. (You can ask me, for example – “are you sure? Should I check with you in a couple of days / a week
if you still want this?”). Things change, including mental states and needs. (This is regarding new ideas I bring in, not tasks that are in progress)
I’m Willing to Pay For it
Some tasks don't need to be done by me. Writing an email, sending a fax, uploading a file, asking someone else – save me the trouble. If it’s beyond your job and requires additional pay – see principle 1 – just say so.
It’s Not Personal
I have bipolar disorder. I disappear, I don’t reply, or reply after a long time – I might be busy with something else or I am during a depressive episode / down / unmotivated (it happens that I don’t reply to emails for a whole month).
Either way it’s not out of disrespect, uncaring, or belittling - it’s just how it is.
On that note – if I don’t reply and something is urgent – mention on Whatsapp that it’s urgent, when there’s an urgent need of reply – I will reply.
It’s not personal 2 – and a followup to candor – when something doesn’t seem right – I will usually speak up. I will try to be as gentle as possible – but it is important for me to protect the essence from fizzling. And it doesn’t mean anything about you. It’s local, only about the task being debated. There is no reason to be insulted and it’s not worth the time. If you were insulted or hurt – say so, if I don’t know you were hurt I won’t be able to change the behavior that hurt you.
I love to work with many tools that enable documentation, task management, and collaborative editing. Centralize all the links I send. (Best to Bookmark)
Don’t be startled. We’ll try to find a format that we both agree on. And maybe we’ll try more than once. When it works – it saves time significantly.
Don’t delete. Please. Archive, mark as irrelevant.
Whatsapp is a work tool – and so there are different groups for different topics, and different people. If it’s difficult for you, instal lZen Mode.
This Is Important
The exact terminology, the fine print, the spaces, the correct alignment.
I find it important. It doesn’t just bother me.
There Are No Dumb Questions
I don’t expect you to know all the tools or all the nuances. Feel free to inquire.
I prefer that you inquire.
And If We Disagree?
It happens. Will happen. What’s important to me at times of disagreement is to talk it over, not to assume we know everything, not to hold in but rather to communicate how you feel about a specific decision. And at the end, after all the communications, if there’s a disagreement – it is important that we try to understand which decisions are critical and which can be smoothed out so we can continue forward together.