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Megan Sullivan

Personal User Manual

The goal of this document is to give others some insight into how I move through the world as a human.

Categories:

Values:

  • 🤝 Leading by example.
    • Holds herself to high standards and expects leaders to do the same. Actions speak louder than words.
  • 💞 Direct, honest communication.
    • If something isn’t going well, let her know ASAP. Especially if something she did or said didn’t sit right with you.
  • 👭 Relationships.
    • Wants to get to know her coworkers as humans (if they’re open to it).
  • 👋 Work-life balance.
    • She works hard during the day, but don’t expect a response once she signs off.
    • Occasionally she’ll send messages when others are OOO (so she doesn’t forget to ask), but she doesn’t expect a response until they’re back on the clock.

Strengths:

  • 🧠 Learning new things.
    • She does lots of research when trying to understand a new domain. Wants to understand how things work, and why they should be done a particular way.
  • 🕵️‍♀️ Attention to detail.
    • Great at catching typos. She’s done a lot of copy editing, and it’s hard for her to turn that part of her brain off.
    • Finds it helpful if you tell her specifically what kind of feedback you’re looking for (so that she doesn’t get too in-the-weeds).
  • 🤔 Asking clarifying questions.
    • This probably comes from being a teacher. Sometimes she asks questions if she suspects that others might be confused and are too shy to ask (even if she knows the answer herself).
    • She’s still feeling out the line between when it’s better to facilitate by asking questions and when it’s better to just share her own opinion directly. Sometimes conversations can be a bit round-about because she’s trying to guide folks without forcing them.
  • 📝 Taking detailed notes.
    • Often found rifling through old notebooks to find a diagram she drew when she was learning about some obscure thing months ago.
    • On the flip side, she hesitates to volunteer to be notetaker during meetings because it’s a role that is more frequently forced upon women.
  • 🥳 Enthusiasm.
    • This probably comes from years of being a camp counselor.
    • Tries to be consistently upbeat, unless she’s exceptionally tired, hangry, or frustrated.
    • She cares deeply about making sure that other people feel appreciated. Makes a point to bake in “warm fuzzy” appreciation activities when she’s facilitating. Tries to give positive feedback and celebrate little wins whenever possible.

Weaknesses:

  • 🤖 Following orders she doesn’t believe in.
    • She has a hard time forcing herself to do work if she doesn’t understand the rationale for why it’s important.
    • Wants to be sure the team is doing the right thing, and that they’re doing it the right way.
  • 🥴 Hiding her feelings.
    • She’s been told in the past that it’s clear when she has feelings about something. (Although sometimes she’s been told that when she wasn’t actually feeling anything.)
    • In the past, this has surfaced when she feels like meetings are being facilitated ineffectively or when her feedback is ignored.
  • 🗣 Advocating for herself over others.
    • She has a tendency to defer to helping others, sometimes at her own expense. Sometimes has difficulty saying “no.”
    • When pairing, she has a hard time asking to drive, because she knows that other people learn better by doing.

Communication Style:

  • 🧭 Thrives with frequent feedback.
    • Ideally a combination of what’s going well and what she can improve.
  • ⏳ Prefers to address squishy topics sooner rather than later.
    • Direct communication. It’s okay if things aren’t going well, but it’s not okay if no one says anything about it.
  • 👎 Does not respond well to teasing or jokes at her own or others’ expense (anything that needs to be couched by “no offense”, or “just kidding”).
    • Also includes excessive sarcasm, or making assumptions about people.
  • 💩 Often uses emojis or GIFs to communicate.
    • If the meaning is ever unclear, please ask her to clarify!

Working Style:

  • 💬 Checks Slack more frequently than email.
    • Try Slack first, and if it’s a more complicated issue, she’s happy to hop on a Zoom to hash it out.
  • 🧩 Likes collaborating, especially when her work is in the problem-solving stage.
    • Likes brainstorming together to make sure she’s heading down the right path before going off to execute on her own.
  • 💪 Prefers working meetings to verbal updates.
    • E.g., First attendees spend 5 minutes entering ideas/updates into a doc, then use doc comments to respond to each other, then summarize verbally with the whole group.
  • 🌃 More productive in the afternoon/evening.

Decision-Making Process:

  1. Decide what the goal is. What are we trying to improve? Why is that the right move?
  2. Gather all the data.
  3. Identify a few possible options for paths forward. Get feedback on the options.
  4. Pick the option that best aligns with the initial goal.

Current Areas for Growth:

  • ♿ Continue building accessibility expertise.
  • 💡 Improve ability to influence.
  • 👩‍🏫 Look for opportunities to teach others! (Writing, creating videos, presenting, etc.)