• James Walton

The Fastest Way to Prevent Confusion and Conflict

Everything depends on communication.  All the work we do is moot unless we can find a way to communicate it effectively to others. This is especially important when working with new team members, who don't have a frame of reference to understand your actions in context. It's especially easy then to inadvertently create confusion and conflict.  One tool to help prevent confusion and conflict is to develop and communicate a "Users Guide to Working with [Your Name]." I got this idea from an article entitled the Indispensable Document for the Modern Manager. In it, the author profiles a startup CEO who took the time to articulate his core managerial philosophies and practices, outline his preferred methods of communication, and surface the emotional assumptions he carries towards others. This document became a core part of the onboarding process because it articulated what would otherwise require a year of working together to figure out into a document that could be read in 20 minutes and discussed openly.  I found this immensely helpful. I built one myself that's a living document, and these are the major sections headings so far:

  • About Me

  • Communication

  • Planning 

  • One on Ones

  • First 6 Months

  • Feedback from Me to You

  • Feedback from You to Me

  • Dos and Don'ts

  • My Managerial Style

I highly recommend taking the time to develop something like this. Don't worry too much about getting it perfect, and keep adding to it as you learn more and receive feedback from your team.  If you'd like to see a full copy of mine, or receive some further guidance on how to develop a Users Guide to Working with Yourself, reach out. I'm here to help.


At Trellis Group, we believe chaos is the enemy of the small business. It's our mission to partner with small business owners and their teams to develop the managerial practices and processes to crush chaos.

If you feel overwhelmed and need a proven system to focus on the next best thing, we can help. Companies who work with us see revenues go up, anxiety go down, and work becomes a force multiplier for good in the lives of your people.

Reach out to discover how the Trellis Group can help you crush chaos.


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