Get to Know Your Coworkers Using the "This Is Me" Handbook

Taking time to get to know your coworkers is crucial regardless of whether someone is a new hire or they've been on the team for a while.

Rockstar Leaders build Belonging and Behaving when they create the time and space for team members to come together to discuss their work preferences and styles of communicating.

The This Is Me Handbook is a tool to help you facilitate conversations between your coworkers about how each of you work and how to get the best from each other.  

In the example handbook below (watch the video), the following topics are covered. 

Topic Suggestions for Get To Know Your Coworkers ... This Is Me Discussions

  • My ideal work environment
  • Time/hours I prefer to work
  • Best ways to communicate to me
  • How I like to make decisions
  • When you have a problem with my performance ...
  • You'll see me underperform when ...
  • I learn best when ...
  • How I deal with conflict
  • My strengths
  • My weaknesses
  • Insights
  • Personal Bits 'n Bobs

Depending upon the culture of your organization and the level of the people involved in the process, you would of course adapt and change the topic headings to suit.

Using a process like this builds rapport, and gives you a start on building meaningful relationships built on respect and understanding. It enables people to bond and move beyond “here's the job I do and here's how you impact on it!”

Facilitate a Discussion not a Presentation

When you set this "Get To Know Your Coworkers" process up with your team, make sure that you encourage them to have deep conversations, where they discuss how their preferences might help or hinder them working together.

I would encourage that the "Get To Know Your Coworkers" sessions are conducted one-to-one, and each session should last about 30 minutes. If you are doing it as part of a workshop, then set it up as a round-robin.

Below is a video showing an example of the This Is Me Handbook completed.

Imagine how powerful the conversations will be as each person talks to what they have in their handbook.    

Performance will improve as people take time to really talk about the stuff that often goes unspoken.

The unspokens that end up in team turmoil.

For example, knowing that your coworker is going to get testy if you interrupt them when their headphones are on is a great way to avoid unnecessary conflict and tension.

As you facilitate the discussions remind your team members, that this isn't about saying - you have to deal with me. It's about opening a conversation to discover how they can each flex to better suit each others needs.

Video example of a completed Get To Know Your Coworkers - This Is Me Handbook

In the video you'll see an example of a completed handbook. The only reason it is in video, is for you to be able to see what it could look like as a presentation document (Powerpoint or Keynote).

The team members are NOT meant to put it in to a video and say to their coworkers "Here you go" and walk away.

Nor should they stand at the front of a room with a Keynote, Powerpoint or Canva presentation and talk at their team mates.

The process should be that each team member sits and goes through each page with their coworker (one to one), discussing what is on the page, and tease out their similarities and differences.

Do encourage your team members to put videos/images in the presentation that clue bomb their personality and interests. 

Access the PDF Version of the This Is Me Handbook

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You'll be able to access The This is Me Handbook in Powerpoint, Keynote and Canva template formats.

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