Appreciating the People Side of Working Out Loud

We just got home late last night from a week long special family visit in across three states. I’m watching my daughter’s gymnastics practice this morning as I write this. My son is reading next to me. My wife is Jazzercizing today. And I have a tee time in 90 minutes.    

  

It’s all normal stuff for this normal person. It’s who I am. 

During that trip I made a stop in Louisville, KY to talk about Working Out Loud at the EFM IT Symposium (Louisville also happens to be where most of my family lives). 

I’ve talked enough on the topic that few reactions or questions surprise me anymore. But this group caught me off guard a little…in a pleasant way. 

Of course I talked about the personal productivity and business efficiency impacts we’ve observed when people apply WOL concepts to how hey go about things. 

But I also don’t shy away from sharing about the human benefits we see, even in a work environment. The connections created. People helping one another directly or emotionally. Observable culture shifts from people talking at one another to talking with one another. Conversation that is now more about understanding than convincing, as it tended to lean toward 3-4 years ago. 
Most of the questions and “recognition of value” reactions I received from that primarily IT audience in Louisville revolved around the potential to realize some of the more human benefits in the workplace. A desire to bring the human back to the work. 

I’m not used to that. For years I’ve always have to defend those benefits against the “social tools at work can’t be about social, it has to be about work” mindset. 

I think it can be about both. I think it must be about both. I’m thrilled people took that away from my talk. It made me feel good about that day of “work”. 

Then I left and took those same parts of me to spend some time with family that I don’t get to see often enough. 

 The same person. The same motivation to be there for and to help people…at work…at home…and across three states. The same person that wants to go set the course record at the golf course this afternoon (even though I know I’m not prepared for that…yet!) 

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