The Jason Crist Operating Manual

Working closely with me? Wondering how I tick? The below might help.

In your life/work, what do you look like on your best day? (What are the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors that characterize you at your best?)

  • I am optimistic to a fault
  • There’s no “can’t” only “haven’t yet”
  • Take time to put the right words together to accurately convey idea and intent
  • I have clear lists of small manageable things to accomplish
  • I am slow to anger and stay calm no matter the surroundings
  • I enter “flow” and am able to stay there for large chunks of time
  • I hold strong opinions weakly

How would you describe your personality or working style? (Do you like to work independently? Thrive in social settings? Prefer mornings or later in the day, etc)

  • I enjoy routine with scheduled “unscheduled” time
  • I prefer working alone MOST of the time
  • I prefer not to work exclusively alone
  • I enjoy the freedom to start/stop being productive when it suits me and as my environment allows.
  • I like blocks of productivity with clearly defined “endings”.
  • I prefer a zillion small tasks to a large one.
  • I enjoy the process of making lists of tasks.
  • Context switching is VERY expensive for me.
  • I strive to be a “change harvester” in all aspects of my life.
  • I think best in the morning and prefer to have a light “lunch snack” otherwise my afternoons are trash.
  • Evenings are for my kids/family, nights are for me or my wife. Mornings and early afternoons are for my employer and colleagues. If I code/write at night it’s for myself (even if it’s a project I am employed at).

When things start to feel stressful, I look like this: (Describe your reactions, Do you go silent? Get more involved/dive in? etc) 

  • I blame
  • I refuse to change my mind; I hold weak opinions strongly
  • I hyper focus on unimportant things
  • I am easily distracted.
  • I fail to keep track of goals and tasks and find it difficult to quantify what I accomplished
  • I get angry easily
  • I blame

What can people do to make you feel appreciated and supported in your work?

  • Take the time to argue a counter position. I LOVE a good, slow argument.
  • Ask for more of what you like; Knowing which particular aspects of a task were helpful informs me of what to focus on to be most assistive.

What qualities do you particularly value in people who work with you?

  • I appreciate being taught by people who want to share something. Sharing knowledge and opinions are very important to me.
  • I like working with people who question the motives, direction and goals of a task
  • I prefer working with people who “doubt”. (Don’t trust me, verify to make sure)
  • I prefer to work with people who also work well alone… but also like to come together to “share deeply” for short periods of time.

How do you like to *give* feedback?

  • I feel bad giving critical feedback of people and their actions and often don’t.
  • I’m free with “non human” feedback critiquing policy or process especially for things that are “shared”.
  • I’m (so I’m told) brutal when it comes to code reviews and feedback. I enjoy giving examples of how something could be written more clearly or be better understood.

How do you like to *get* feedback?

  • I love brutal code reviews. Please tear it apart and make it better.
  • I like trying to be “like” people and I (really) appreciate examples; Showing me a good example of how I could improve helps me to understand. (Purposefully pointing out the thing you do that I might better imitate myself, or providing another’s specific example of “a good example of a thing I need to improve”)

Outside of work, what is most important to you?

  • Fostering Healthy Relationships with my Family
  • Making things with my hands
  • Spending enough time alone to stay mentally healthy

What is most misunderstood about you, if anything, that you would like to clarify?

  • Because I argue a point strongly doesn’t mean I feel strongly about it or that my goal is to convince, only that it is the opinion I currently hold. I am frustrated when I “win” an argument too early. I don’t like “winning”, I like “getting all the way to the end”.
  • Because I restate something doesn’t mean that I wasn’t paying attention and am trying to claim ownership of an idea, often it means I’m thinking deeply and want to ensure a shared understanding.
  • That I don’t “believe you” when I verify something. I don’t believe anybody. I don’t believe myself.

What else should people know about you or how you work?

  • I have “undiagnosed” ADHD and focus REALLY WELL or NOT AT ALL and there IS NO IN-BETWEEN.
  • If I am expected to focus on something that doesn’t involve my hands then I’m either walking (I lap my back-hard when on the phone) or fiddle with things (I have a box of “fiddle toys” on my desk to keep me focused when somebody wants my attention).

What are you best at? What’s the work you love to do?

  • Figuring out the “how”. Implementation isn’t nearly as fun as the exploration of HOW something will be implemented.
  • Outlining Process. I like seeing steps written down so that there can be a shared understanding and a shared place to discuss and change.
  • Change Harvesting. Determining what small, atomic and long-lasting changes can be done to progress toward a constantly shifting goal.

What’s the work that feels like a chore to you? What are your weaknesses?

  • Anything that requires repetition. If I have done a thing more than three times in my life I’m already bored of it and tend to get really sloppy.
  • Deep planning for things further away than a couple of months down the road. While I really like looking at “short” distance ahead I get frustrating making plans for things “a year from now”.
  • Estimates. I LOATHE estimating the time it will take to accomplish a task. It’s always wrong and somebody always gets in trouble because of that.