Week 11: Working Out Loud

Welcome to the penultimate week of #LearnCamp. We’ve covered a lot of ground and now we’re ready to cap things off by exploring how to tap into the power of “working out loud”. You’re probably wondering just what in the heck does that mean?

No one can explain it better than John Stepper, who’s written a fantastic book about it called “Working Out Loud for a Better Career and Life“.

“Working Out Loud starts with making your work visible in such a way that it might help others. When you do that – when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities.”

When thinking about how to get started, I totally agree with Harold Jarche’s suggestion that the first step of needs to be as simple as possible. How you start isn’t as important as starting. John reminds us that “The best first step is one you actually take.”

Your first step will different than everyone else’s but the general concepts are the same:  

  • Make your work visible in such a way that it might be helpful to others.
  • Think of “work” in the broadest sense. It could be anything you’re learning or doing that has value to others.

For example, anytime  read something good onlinethat you think others could benefit from hit the like button, leave a comment,  or even better yet – post it to Twitter. Add a quick comment about why you liked it. Email it to a friend or colleague.

“It’s a small, simple step, but when you do it often enough, you change your mindset. Every time you discover or do something of value, no matter how small, you start thinking of others who might benefit from you sharing it.” – John Stepper

Here are a few good ideas for getting started. You might even be ‘working out loud’ already and not even know it!

  • Bust Your Bookmarks Out of  Web Browser Jail :
    You’re already bookmarking things in your web browser, so why not move them off your hard drive and set them free? Free online tools like Diigo, Delicious or Pinterest get them off your hard drive and make them easier for you to use. Even if you keep them private, you still get the benefit of them being searchable and accessible from any of your computers or devices.
  • Aggregate:
    Collecting as many of your information sources as possible through a feed reader such as Feedly or Flipboard, saves time and helps you keep up with a very busy world. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful this one is!
  • Connect:
    Social media offers amazing potential for making valuable connections. Twitter is my favorite. Go find interesting people in your field and follow them. Check your feed read once or twice a day. (Having the mobile really helps.)  Pretty quickly, you’ll “get it” and start finding more valuable people and insights to learn from.

    Since you’re probably already on Linkedin, that is one place you can easily start sharing what you’re learning and working on. Drop me a note, I’d love to hear from you.

Start with one of these, then add another when you feel ready. If you do just these three things you’ll realize a huge benefit.

For even more great ideas, grab a copy of the exercises from John Stepper’s book. John shares some simple nudges – things you can do in less than a minute or five minutes – to help you practice. And go get the book! I loved it so much that I asked our amazing library to get a copy for others to enjoy.

If you’re still wondering to yourself “Why would I do this? Why would I share the things I’m working on and learning?” consider what Jane Bozarth writes in her book, “Show Your Work: The Payoffs and How-Tos of Working Out Loud

“In its simplest, most obvious benefit, showing work helps an idea connect with someone else who needs it.” – Jane Bozarth

Isn’t that what being in the Learning & Development field is all about? Or any other field for that matter?   Not only do you help someone who needs it, you’ll also be helping yourself by being more productive, working better as a team, accelerating your career, and more.

Start Today!

Follow John Stepper and Harold Jarche via Twitter and plug their blogs into your feed reader. They will help you succeed – I guarantee it!

If you like cheatsheets here’s a nice one page summary of Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered” that you can print and hang on your wall for reference or inspiration.

Check out these books & resources to learn even more:

Join Jane Bozarth’s free webinar “Getting Started With Working Out Loud” tomorrow 10/20/15 at 2pm Eastern

Activity 1: Share something

  • Share one thing you’ve learned this week in the comments below or on Twitter with the #LearnCamp hashtag
  • Set a goal to share one thing everyday on your platform of choice.

Activity 2:  Take a few minutes to ‘reconnect’

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