Working Out Loud Circle Guide: Week 4
- Suggested Agenda
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Additional exercises from Working Out Loud
You work on your list and upgrade your online presence.
Suggested reading: Chapter 14 - Deepening Relationships through Contribution
10 minutes - What happened since last week?
10 minutes - Exercise: Working the list
15 minutes - The group discusses their contributions
10 minutes - Exercise: Reviewing your online presence
10 minutes - The group discusses their online presence
5 minutes - A few things before the next meeting
What happened last week? (10 minutes)
Each person should speak for a few minutes about what, if anything, they did since the last meeting. Celebrate when someone got a response or made a connection, and try to help each other with challenges.
Exercise: Working the list (10 minutes)
Every week, you should go through your relationship list and practice asking What do I have to offer that can further develop the relationship?
We’ll keep expanding the set of contributions over the coming weeks. For now, remember the universal gifts of recognition and appreciation: thanking someone, giving them credit or praise, letting them know you’re thinking of them. These are all wonderful gifts that anyone can give.
Now, let’s add another simple contribution and practice offering it. Take a particular resource – a book, a TED talk, an article - that you’ve found interesting or useful and list it here. (If you’re stuck, you can always list Working Out Loud. Ha!). You can also add a blog or document that you've found interesting in [Jive Community].
Now practice asking yourself For whom might this be a contribution? Try to list three people.
Then click on the share button and send this to other users that you think will also find this interesting. The Share button is in the right hand column. After clicking on share you can type in a user name, group name, or an email address.
You can change the message to a more personal comment like I loved this, and it made me think of you. A simple message like this can make someone’s day and bring you closer. Do it now if you can.
The group discusses their contribution (15 minutes)
The facilitator should ask for someone to talk about their contribution, to whom they would offer it and, importantly, how they would offer it. By helping each other think of gifts they would share and how they would share it, everyone expands their understanding and becomes a bit more comfortable.
Exercise: Reviewing your online presence (10 minutes)
Go to your profile page in [Jive Community] and under your Biography section you can add a section for goals. You can take a look at Kenny's example below.
You can also go to your LinkedIn profile and add a short sentence about your goal. For example, I added “Author of Working Out Loud” after one of the early drafts of the book. Mara, whose goal was to relocate back to New Zealand, might have added “Kiwi in London, heading back home.” David, who was exploring writing books for children, might add “Aspiring author of children’s books.”
Keep it short. Feel free to try different things till you come up with something you’re comfortable with.
When you have something, update your Twitter profile too. Now when people look at your profiles, they’ll see more of the real you. That one simple step increases your chances of realizing your goal.
The group discusses their online presence (10 minutes)
Having each of you share what you added to your profile - saying it out loud in front of a trusted group - can help you. Don’t worry so much about getting it exactly right. You can easily change it as you learn and grow. For now, the important thing is just taking a small step in shaping your online presence.
A few things before the next meeting (5 minutes)
At the end of this meeting, the facilitator has three small but important jobs:
1. Schedule the next meeting.
2. Remind people to read the Week 5 circle guide and suggested reading.
3. Ask: “What will you do this week?”
Before the next meeting, keep working on your relationship list and on the contributions you would make for each person on it. Try making at least three of those contributions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are two common questions about managing time from Chapter 12.
Q: I want to invest in myself, but I really don’t have time.
Though we all have different jobs and different schedules, almost no one feels s/he has extra time. After all, your time is already accounted for, so when you choose to do something new, you have to make a trade of some kind. For example, whenever you say yes to a meeting or a task, you’re saying no to something else that could be much more valuable. Ask yourself, “What’s the something else?”
Since your time is most likely fully allocated, you probably won’t find spare time. But you can identify activities you’ll start saying no to so you can invest in things more important to you in the long term. For example, average Americans may consider themselves busy, but they also spend more than 34 hours a week watching TV. Whether or not you consider that a good investment, the point is that you can’t make extra time. All you can do is make conscious decisions on how you spend the time you have and, if you want to, exchange low-value activities for a bit more time investing in yourself.
Q: There’s no way I can find time in my schedule. Now what?
This is common. If you feel like you already have a full week, finding an hour can be daunting. Here are a few things you might do:
1. Check that your goal is something you care about. The more you care about it, the more motivated you’ll be to find time to work on it.
2. If one hour a week is too much, try half an hour. If that’s too much, try two fifteen-minute increments, and schedule them in your calendar.
3. If you’re still struggling, keep a time journal for a week. Track how you’re spending time, even in fifteen-minute increments. Review it at the end of the week, and ask if that’s truly how you wanted to spend your time. I did this exercise myself when I thought I didn’t have enough time to work on the book. After a few days, it became clear I was spending more time on my phone—checking Facebook and meandering on the Internet—than I had thought. I cut back on that and invested that time in writing.
Additional exercises from Working Out Loud
Something you can do in less than a minute
Look at your calendar for the next week, and schedule the times you’ll work on working out loud. Try and invest at least fifteen minutes a day or perhaps an hour a week. Any time is better than none.
Something you can do in less than 5 minutes
Create a physical chart of your progress. It needn’t be fancy. My own chart was a plain sheet of paper taped to the wall that had a space for every day of the month. Use your chart to track the time you’re investing in yourself and in your new habit of working out loud.