Working Out Loud: For a Better Career and Life by John C. Stepper

Working Out Loud (WOL) is a wildly popular, proven tool for personal and professional transformation that guides you to set goals and build relationships to help you achieve them. Those who have embraced the Working Out Loud method can experience how it opens them up to new people and new possibilities.

Five elements that underpin Working Out Loud approach:

  • Relationships – Relationships are at the heart of working out loud. They make you feel connected to something or someone beside yourself. The path to opportunities and knowledge is very often via other people. As you deepen relationships with others, they are more likely to help you or collaborate with you.
  • Generosity – Generosity is a good way to build relationships because we are wired for reciprocal altruism. Your contributions can be as simple (but powerful!) as recognition and appreciation. These acts of kindness will make others feel good and naturally be a benefit to you too, as others reciprocate.
  • Visible work – You don’t have to be a social media maven to work out loud. You can do it effectively over coffee and email. When you make your work visible and frame it as a contribution, the communication tools you use (e.g. social platforms) can help to amplify your work and extend your reach.
  • Purposeful discovery – It does not have to be your One Special Purpose but rather something smaller and simple. Learn something new, explore new opportunities or meet new people. Having a learning goal in mind orients your activities, including the relationships you are trying to develop and contributions you should make.
  • Growth mindset – This last element is not about things to do but rather a mindset to have as you do them. By developing a more open, curious approach to your work and life, you will become more resilient in the face of setbacks. Adopting a growth mindset means that you are more likely to try new things and to persist even when things do not go according to plan.

In the last part of the book, Stepper walks you through a twelve-week mastery program to put the working out loud approach into practice and turn that practice into a sustainable habit.

This book is packed full of great tips and great advice for working out loud. If you like the concept of working out loud and want to know how to start and do it effectively, this is the book to read. It is a life changing practice that has brought the joy of accomplishment and connection to those who have adopted it.

The Working Out Loud method has been recommended by Andrew Grill, the Practical Futurist, in the Beyond COVID: The Future of the workplace webinar held at Flinders Unversity in May 2020.

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