Working Out Loud Circle – Post 4


View all posts in this series for better context. We began our circle by discussing my colleague’s activities from the last circle . We then started our activities for Week 4 which center around continuing to work your relationship list and upgrading your online presence.   

Week 4 Reflections

To prepare for this circle I read Chapter 14 of Working Out Loud, read the Week 4 Circle Guide, re-read my Week 3 reflections blog post and took a look at my colleague’s Twitter account.

We began by discussing the activities of the last week – focusing on how he did with his two goals:

  1. Create his top 10 relationship list
  2. Make time each day for contributions

He was able to dedicated time each day to think about and make contributions, but it turned out the best time of day for him was right before beginning work, rather than in the early evening as we had discussed last week.

In regards to the relationship list, he felt ineffective.  He was experiencing a lot of noise via his Twitter account, rather than good signals to help him with his overall goal – getting better at his work and learning more about key technologies.  So, we took immediate action.

Eliminating the Noise

We opened his Twitter account and had a discussion about the accounts he was following, and which accounts were not adding value (just providing noise).  I showed him how to un-follow an account, and we went through the process and immediately eliminated the accounts not providing value.

I also explained the beauty of Twitter – you are in total control of who you follow.  It is up to us to find accounts that provide value to us – after all there are a few hundred million Twitter accounts, so we should be able to find the accounts that bring value to us.

One of the positives from the past week however was that he found a free online course specific to the technologies he wants to learn more about, and he signed up.  We discussed how the other people taking the course can be potential people to add to his relationship list.  We will follow up on this after he starts the course.

Before beginning our Week 4 activity, I reiterated the key questions we focus on each week:

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • Who can help me?
  • How can I contribute to them to deepen the relationship?

Week 4 Activities

We began our first activity – working the list – by documenting a specific resource he found useful, the online course he discovered.

Then we discussed for whom this might be a contribution?  In talking, we identify three classmates from his graduate school program.

I then discussed how we can use any platform to make our contribution, and he settled on using LinkedIn to send a personal message.  He made his three contributions.  I asked him, “How do you feel?”

He said, “I want my interactions with them to be meaningful.  Everyone one of us is more or less starting our careers.”  He felt good about his contribution.

I reminded him to always be looking at, and modifying, his relationship list until he has it the way he needs to fulfill his goal.

Exercise 2 – Review your Online Presence

We went to his LinkedIn profile and began discussing what sentence he could add about his goal – something that describes where he is at right now, and what he is working towards.  He completed the task, and then said he was going to give it some more thought, as well as add a link to his new Twitter account.

We finished our time together by looking at his relationship list again, and then added two columns to the list to help focus his activities:

  • Date of last contribution
  • Date of next contribution

We wrapped up the meeting by discussing his goals for the upcoming week – continue tweaking his relationship list (and who he follows on Twitter), finish his online presence update, and make time for contributions every day.

After the circle, I sent an email with a link to download the Week 5 Circle Guide and a reminder to continue working through his contributions on his relationship list.

Further Reflections

The process of facilitating the circle, as well as an existing project I am working on, have caused me to reflect some more on how I can better help organizations improve collaboration and sharing capabilities, by focusing more on individuals. I will write about these thoughts this week as I continue to “mash” up resources I have gathered through the years via my own work and the work of people in my network.

The Working Out Loud circles really show the power of focusing on the individual, which in turn, adds value to the organization.  The concept of incorporating a guided mastery program with someone, and seeing the impact it has, have been on my mind pretty much non-stop.

In fact while out last night, I had a terrific conversation with a person about Working Out Loud, and how it helps individuals take control of their career and the impact that can have on improving organizations.  We agreed to meet for lunch and talk some more.  As a gift I will bring him a copy of the book.

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One thought on “Working Out Loud Circle – Post 4

  1. Pingback: Working Out Loud Circle – Post 5 | Ben McMann's Weblog

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