Working Out Loud Circle Guide: Week 1
After circle members get to know one another, you each decide on a personal short-term goal for the next 12 weeks and create your first relationship list.
• The beginning of Part III Your Own Guided Mastery Program
• Chapter 10 - A practical goal and your first relationship list.
One hour can go by quickly, especially for five people. If you’re not actively managing the time, you can spend the entire time just ordering coffee and getting to know each other. Sticking to this high-level agenda should help. Each part of the agenda is described in detail below.
15 minutes - Personal introductions - Two to three minutes per person
5 minutes - Each person writes down their goal for the next 12 weeks
10 minutes - Everyone shares their goals
10 minutes - Each person creates their first relationship list
15 minutes - The group discusses their lists
5 minutes - A few things before the next meeting
Two to three minutes per person (15 minutes)
Each person should speak for a few minutes on why they joined a working out loud circle. Was it a desire for something more? A reaction to an event at work or in your life? Focus on what motivated you for now. There will be plenty of time to talk about your personal details, career, etc. over the 12 weeks.
Each person writes down their goal for the next 12 weeks (5 minutes)
Write down your goal for the next 12 weeks now. Keep it to just a sentence or two and less than 25 words. Here are some common goals:
• Get more recognition at my current job
• Find a job in a new company or location
• Explore possibilities in a new field
• Find people with the same interests
• Learn more about something I care about
• Get better at what I do
Everyone shares their goals (10 minutes)
The facilitator should ask each person in turn to share their goal. Questions and discussion about individual goals are good but limit this section to ten minutes.
Each person creates their first relationship list (10 minutes)
Be the Internet detective. Start searching for people and organizations related to your goal. You can start your search in [Jive Community] by clicking on the Search icon (Magnifying glass) in the top right hand corner.
In the example below, the term "Working Out Loud" was used to find people in [Jive Community] who have shared this goal or interest in their profile. In the right hand column, content that contains that term is also displayed - allowing you to find people who have not expressed this interest in their profile, but are still publishing on the topic. If you can't find people right away you may need to be a bit more creative with your search and the keywords you enter.
Try to find 10 people. If you find a group and a role in [Jive Community] but can’t yet find the name, that’s okay. Just write down whatever information you have. For now, the most important thing is the searching itself. Get used to searching and refining your search in [Jive Community] .
The group discusses their lists (15 minutes)
The facilitator should ask for someone to talk about their list. What kind of people did they pick? Did they have trouble with the exercise? If so, could others offer suggestions based on their own list? There’s no need for each person to share their list. The goal of the discussion is to ensure everyone understands how to build one.
A few things before the next meeting (5 minutes)
At the end of the meeting, the facilitator has four small but important jobs:
1. Schedule the next meeting.
2. Ensure everyone knows the email addresses of the other members.
3. Remind people to read the Week 2 circle guide and suggested reading.
4. Talk about the commitment for the next 11 weeks.
Commitment for the next 11 weeks
Before the next meeting each person should decide whether they will commit to being in the circle and participate for the next 11 meetings. That’s important to establishing trust between members of the circle. The facilitator should remind everyone of this. If anyone decides they can’t make that commitment, they don’t need to specify a reason. They should simply send the facilitator a short note.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions people have after their first circle meeting.
Q: What if I don’t know my goal?
Abraham Maslow, the psychologist famous for defining our hierarchy of needs, said, “It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.” If your goal isn’t clear, consider one of the six common goals listed above. Your goal doesn’t necessarily have to be a career goal. It could be anything you care about and want to get better at, even your favorite hobby or raising money for a good cause.
The key for the next twelve weeks isn’t so much that you pick the best goal. What’s important is that you practice working in a more open, connected way that helps you build relationships. Having that experience and developing the habit of working out loud will better equip you to pursue any goal in the future.
Q: What if I pick the wrong goal?
There is no right or wrong when it comes to goals, but people often do change their goal as they go through the twelve weeks.
A good goal is clear, something you care about, and is something you can make meaningful progress toward in twelve weeks. Some people are especially ambitious and try to set more than one goal for their circle. That can work, but focus and practice are more important than ambition. If you find yourself overwhelmed at all, make your goal less ambitious and more fun.
Additional exercises from Working Out Loud
Something you can do right now in less than a minute
Post a Status update in [Jive Community]: I'm in a Working Out Loud circle" Reach out to me if you are interested. You can also @-mention a person with a similar goal as you or @-mention your co-workers.
You can also post on Twitter: I’m in a Working Out Loud circle. Hello @johnstepper
When you @-mention John on Twitter, he will be alerted and will respond with his own tweet, showing you how even a simple nine-word contribution can create a connection that wouldn’t have been possible before.
Something you can do in less than 5 minutes
If you don’t have a Twitter account already, create a basic one now. You can pick a photo and add other details later. Even if you never tweet yourself, having an account is a tremendous asset in purposeful discovery. It allows you to learn about and interact with a wider range of people than was ever possible before. If you already have an account, install the Twitter app on your phone or scan your Twitter stream.