Working Out Loud in India

Working Out Loud in India

Working Out Loud in India

It was 7am on a Tuesday morning and I was preparing to present to groups in Mumbai and Pune about working out loud. I had never met any of these people, and I had only spoken to two of them the day before to make sure the setup worked. So I had my mug of coffee, a white collared shirt over my pajama bottoms, and no idea what to expect.

After a short talk and 45 minutes of questions, I learned that, despite the cultural differences, the people working out loud in India have a lot in common with people doing it around the world.

How to find an opportunity in India

How do you wind up collaborating with groups in India? It started with a single click, when Ganesh Ramakrishnan (RG) followed me on Twitter. Over time, as we became familiar with each other’s work and interests, we corresponded and exchanged ideas. I sent him a draft of the book and he sent me helpful comments. He volunteered to organize circles and I sent him materials and answered his questions.

It’s a pattern I see often and wrote about in “Deepening relationships through contribution.” Before we ever spoke to each other, before I even knew where he worked, I considered RG a friend.

The first circles in India

So when he asked if I would speak to the people who had formed circles or were otherwise interested, I was eager to do it. I was encouraged that the questions were similar to those I’ve heard many times before:

What if people aren’t “natural communicators”? (Try this and this.)

What contributions should I make? (Try this and this.)

How do I prioritize my time? (Try this and this.)

There were also a number of helpful suggestions for making circles better, and I'll include them in upcoming versions of the circle guides. Their experience and learning will shape and improve the working out loud movement.

The most remarkable difference

The most remarkable difference was that there was no difference. They had the same motivations: wanting a better career and life, not waiting to be picked. They had the same fears about getting started.

They also had the same need for validation and connection:

“We were glad to hear the others had problems.”

It’s thrilling to think of people across the world putting working out loud into practice. I look forward to spending more time with RG and a growing set of friends in India.