There are many managers I admire, some of whom I was lucky personally meet, others I “know” through reading their books/blogs.

I have have borrowed different questions and suggestions I liked from these managers to create an Icebreaker, a set of questions that can quickly provide me information about a new person I’m working with. At the same time, I wrote this post to provide new people in our team with basic knowledge about me, the new person they are working with.

Here are the questions and my answers1.

  • Would you say you are a morning person?

Average. As of 2021, I am transitioning from night owl to early bird. Ask me again in a couple years.

  • Do you like to be praised? Is it better to receive praise in public or in private?

I generally dislike to be praised. If anything must be said, I prefer that private and informal.

  • What is your preferred method of communication for feedback?

Unless it’s concrete feedback about a piece of work, something that is better written onto the work itself (e.g., code comments), I prefer conversation during a meeting. Written communication must be super accurate to avoid misunderstandings.

  • When do you prefer to receive feedback—routinely in 1:1s, or as-it-happens?

Both.

  • What’s your favorite way to treat yourself?

Food.

  • What makes you grumpy or turns you off?

In general, having to do too many thing at the same time makes me grumpy and turns me off. Scheduling conflicts turn me off.

  • How will I know you are not in good mood?

My face will be good evidence.

  • Human learning and growth requires the right amount of four things: new challenges, low ego, space to reflect and brainstorm, and timely and clear feedback. How are these four going for you? Is there one you need more or less of?

I believe I need more time to reflect and brainstorm. I have a thing for going after that new shiny challenge and investing more time on that than something that has known problems that must be solved.

  • What type of people do you normally work best with?

I work best with people who communicate often and honor commitments. I work best with people who communicate with candor and create an atmosphere of trust where we can say things to each other because everyone wants the best for their teammate.

  • What do you need from your teammates?

Advice. Guidance. Intellectual stimulation.

  • What do you need from your manager?

Advice. Guidance. Intellectual stimulation. Space to think, support to do, pressure to maintain my work level and keep improving.

  • How do I know when not to interrupt you?

In general you can interrupt me. When I’m coding or reading are two of the worst moments though.

  • What are the manager behaviors that you know you hate?

Displays of preference towards a member of the team. Being extremely hands-off, especially as a result of not liking the member’s work or the outcomes the work is generating.


  1. My own answers might change overtime, I will try my best to keep a note of that change in this log. [return]