As you work out loud, you might tempted to think that more is better: more people in your network; more contributions; more activity in social media. But being busy isn’t the point of working out loud. Instead, you should measure your success by whether you’re deepening relationships, becoming more effective, or simply feeling better about work and life.
To help you achieve that success, the most important people in your network might be in your Working Out Loud circle.
Originally, I thought of circles as simply a way to help people apply the ideas in the book. But circle members describe benefits I hadn’t expected.
For example, one of my best friends is in my circle, and he tends to avoid social media and big crowds. As we were going through our updates from the past week, he apologized for talking about things that “weren’t really about working out loud.”
Then he went on to describe how, more than any exercise or technique, it was the support from other members as well as their own progress that were motivating him to take steps toward his own goal.
That first meeting
Sometimes, one meeting is all it takes to start seeing things differently. Another member of my circle is a smart, accomplished woman who’s exploring different possibilities related to her profession. She sent me this text after our first meeting:
“I was amazed by my experience on Tuesday. Truly, it was phenomenal. I left feeling excited and recharged. Speaking about career plans to the group just made it seem more real and made me feel accountable to the group. This is exactly the motivation I need. It made me feel validated for wanting more and happy that I have the means and help to find solutions through this group. Thank you.”
Your own circle of trust and respect
So as you work out loud and build your network, remember to pay attention to the people right next to you.
An hour a week of listening and caring, of being vulnerable while taking steps to invest in yourself, can change how you feel and help you make progress toward goals you care about.