Working Out Loud Circle – Week One

This is part of a series of posts documenting my journey with a Working Out Loud circle, as defined in John Stepper’s book; Working Out Loud: For a better Career and Life.  You can read the rest of the series here. 

On Friday, I met the rest of my Working Out Loud circle in the first of our 12 weekly meetings.  We’re a pretty spread out group, coming from South Africa, Australia, Liechtenstein and two from the UK.   We’ll meet on Friday morning at 9 am UK time, and it was a good way to start the day, connected with an energetic and motivated bunch by video.

Working Out Loud Circle

The nature of timezones meant we had four of us with coffee mugs, and one with a glass of wine – which just reinforced the global aspect of our circle! I promise that it wasn’t my breakfast Beaujolais!

So, what did we do?

The Working Out Loud Circle programme has some great guidance documented. We’re going to stick to the plan and so for week one, we covered four main activities:

  1. Some brief introductions.  We’d wisely written a short bio/intro in our Slack channel. So we were just saying ‘hello’ on this call and starting to get to know each other.
  2. A quick opening statement about why we had joined a Working Out Loud circle.  For me, I’m looking to figure out how I can build my network and contribute more frequently to the people I connect with.  I suspect my goal may change, and one the pieces of advice that the group had was to ‘not fix on the goal too much’, as there is a tendency to update and adjust the goal as the circle progresses.
  3. A short exercise to begin building our relationship list. These are the people that we will be connecting with and building relationships as we work through the 12 weeks.  This was interesting as the members of the circle immediately thought to add the other members, which demonstrates some common goals and hopefully some early rapport.
  4. Finally, a short sum up of the activities from this week.

My key takeaways from Week One

  • We have a great bunch, diverse in backgrounds and locations, and a good energy around the circle.
  • Our goals are both distinct but have some similar threads which mean we’ll all be able to help.
  • For a first meeting, we were remarkably open and sharing – which to me demonstrates that we’re already ‘leaning in’, and we have already assumed positive intent.

What did I do directly?

I’m using this section each week to capture what I did directly as a result of the meeting and hold myself accountable.

  1. Shared my contact details with the whole circle.  Email, phone, twitter everything.
  2. Connected with those members that have twitter accounts.
  3. Built two twitter lists – one for my WOL circle, and one for the people on my relationship list so that I can stick close to what they are doing.
  4. Wrote this! Although I’ll hold it as a draft for a couple of days.

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