#WOLWeek Day 2: Make a Connection

Welcome to International Working Out Loud week which will run from 7-13 November 2016. The Theme of this Wolweek is “Working and Sharing Purposefully”. 

Each day this week this blog will share a discussion of the 7 Days of Working Out Loud post. Thoughout the week and in the coming weeks we will also be sharing blogposts, interviews, and other content to help practitioners of working out loud to lean and to spread the movement.

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Day 2: Make a Connection

Working out loud exposes us to the networks of other people in our work. Understanding and leveraging those networks begins by making a connection.

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Nobody Works Alone

Everybody works with others. Even remote lighthouse keepers, solo yachts people and shepherds have networks that support their work or depend on the outcomes of their work. We like to focus on our solo heroic efforts to achieve our goals, but we do so by excluding the view of the networks that support, collaborate in and benefit from our work. Working out loud is a way to bring those people back into our work.

Understand the Networks

Effectiveness at work in an era of global digital network connectivity depends on understand the networks in and around our work. We can now see and communicate with all the people in the networks of our work.  Ignorance or inaccessibility is no longer an excuse.

The networks in and around our work don’t respect boundaries. They don’t stop at the edge of your part of the hierarchy. They don’t stop at the edge of your process. They don’t respect the boundary of your organisations or geography. Those networks go where the work demands.  They are connected by the fulfilment of purpose. The better we understand these networks of people the more effectively we work.

See the People

These networks are not technology. They are a flow of human conversations and interactions. You are working to engage and benefit human beings. The new opportunity in working out loud is to connect personally at a real human level. To see, acknowledge and begin to understand that person an the relationship to your work.

Don’t look for stakeholders, managers, colleagues or customers. Look for the unique individuals who are a part of your work. Some will hold many roles. Share your work with them so that you can benefit from a better understanding of their unique needs, capabilities and dreams. Averages lie. The more individual and personal your connection with those around your work, the more effective you will be. Hidden insights, capabilities and help will only be revealed when you build a personal connection and a relationship of trust with each individual.

Make a New Connection

Consider the network of people around your work. Which people the greatest mystery? Where do you most rely on reports, averages, data and other myths rather than a human connection? Those people are where you need to deepen your network connections.

Take the purpose of your work to those people and make a new human connection. Share something. It doesn’t have to be big or finished or grand.  It just needs to start a conversation. Ask that person what they want or need or fear. Ask that person to share their life and their work. At some level, people love acknowledgement and the opportunity to talk about themselves. Connect at a personal level and you will begin to see the magic of working out loud as a practice.

When you look for the people around your work, you will likely see those who help and support you who you have not acknowledge adequately. Take the time to celebrate these people. Make a new personal connection with them by thanking them for their support of your work. Turn that thanks into the beginning of a new conversation.

Make a connection today. At a minimum you will enjoy the conversation.

Simon Terry

WOLWEEK Partner

Change Agents Worldwide is the Principal Partner of International Working Out Loud Week. Change Agents Worldwide helps organisations and individuals leverage the potential of working out loud to create more purposeful and effective work.

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