Understanding Their Story
To understand a person’s history, is to know them from first principles.
This is why I take it upon myself to understand the story of anyone I’m working closely with.
If I understand their story: where they were born and raised, their inflection points, their career trajectory, and their decision making framework behind their major decisions. Then I can holistically understand them as a human. I can understand their mindset, their behavior, and their values. Knowing this I can better work with that person.
Equally, if not more important, this builds trust. Revealing your story to someone is to be vulnerable, and vulnerability builds trust. And with trust, work gets done faster, and it’s healthy for the culture of the company overall.