Richard McLean: A user manual

Richard McLean
2 min readMar 9, 2018

How do you help other people get to know you at work?

You might learn to work together through doing and getting on with stuff. But that can be harder when you’re not co-located.

You might organise social get-togethers.
But this is harder when your team is spread across different countries.

You might do it through team-building exercises, say at an away day.
But you might have to wait months for this.

You might check out each other’s profile and experience online, using things like LinkedIn. But, whilst such things might explain what you’ve done, they don’t explain how you operate. And they often don’t cover some of the more personal things that help other people get to know you as a person.

I’ve recently started a new job. I’m home-based, working in a team that is dispersed across the world, and I’ve been thinking about this question about how to help people get to know me.

So, inspired by others, I’ve decided to write a user manual. As Matthew explained it, the idea is to:

“help your colleagues to rapidly understand how you approach projects, the preferences around how you work, why you get up in the morning and the tips and tricks to get the very best out of you. It looks forward, into the coming projects and challenges and asks not what you do, but how you do.”

I regularly review and if necessary update my user manual — eg when I change role, or when someone new joins my team. You can take a look at my most recent user manual here.
FWIW my original version, from March 2018, is here; and my July 2022 version is here.]



Richard McLean

Chief of staff @ElsevierConnect (Academic & Government group). Mainly writing about getting from A to B, teams, & digital product stuff. Personal account.