Jochen Adler (@jochenadler) is a social workplace consultant and a fan of working out loud. Jochen believes working out loud is a component of his quest to make work better. For more on Jochen see jochenadler.com
- How should people start working out loud?
It’s a habit, and we all know how hard those are to sink in. What worked best at first for me, because I’m so schedule-driven, is frequent reminders on my calendar. They’ll pop up every once in a while, wherever I’ll be, prompting me: „What are you working on? Share!”
- What are the benefits and risks of working out loud?
One of the rather immediate benefits is getting wider, better answers to your questions when you begin to put them out there in the open. In some workplace cultures, however, having answers is a measure of strength — and having lots of questions is seen as immature, or weak. I’d suggest to cautiously test the waters around you before you risk appearing too „vulnerable“, otherwise, you’ll quickly be getting uncomfortable.
- What surprises you about working out loud?
I was often surprised how easy it was to get access to someone who you thought was somewhat „famous“ (and certainly very busy). When I reached out, the response was sometimes something like „yeah sure, I quickly checked out your stuff online, it looks relevant, let’s meet for a coffee“.
- How has working out loud changed your work relationships?
Two things come to mind: They get more meaningful, because when you collaborate in the open, you discover experiences or talents around you that were never formally captured anywhere in CVs or databases; suddenly, someone (ideally, you!) chimes in with an experience from back in the day and contributes something really useful, out of the blue. Secondly, it’s so easy to make introductions: Just @-mention someone who might know a piece to a knowledge puzzle, and you may have helped tremendously
- Who inspires you to work out loud?
My colleagues, since I’m on a mostly virtual team. We’re all very busy and rarely physically together, so everything I keep to myself is immediately at risk of being washed under and forgotten. Day by day, there are so many observations to preserve, so many potential connections to be made — I just can’t let that happen.