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Working Out Loud: The Friday Roundup (1/15/16)


As part of my goal in January to do more "Working out Loud," I'm experimenting with doing a Friday Roundup, sharing a few thoughts, links, etc. that have emerged from my work during the week that I think could be useful to you too.

Working Out Loud: Yearbooks, Goal-Setting and Planning

After I wrote my post a few weeks ago on using a Yearbook Journal to set goals and track progress, my colleague Rebecca Fabiano and I spent some time creating our own yearbooks. We facilitate a monthly meeting for youth development professionals called the Sandbox and decided that this would be a great topic for our January meeting.

(Note--here are follow-up links and resources from the session you might be interested in related to planning, etc. )

As part of the session, we had people sit in small groups to discuss these questions:

  • What BIG plans do you have for yourself, your program, your staff and/or participants?
  • What excites you about planning for the year ahead?
  • Who else is involved in your planning/goal setting? Who might you want/need to involve this year?
  • What are your go-to strategies for planning, organizing and goal-setting?
  • What would you like to blow out of the water and do better when it comes time to planning/organizing/goal setting?
  • How do you capture your, your program, participants and/or staff’s successes?
  • What tools do you use for organizing, goal-setting, reflecting?

My group was only able to get to a couple of these in the 20 minutes we allotted, but in that short time, each of us walked away with a new idea we wanted to try.

For example, one of the questions we discussed was "Who else is involved in your planning/goal-setting and who do you want to involve?

This led one person to share that she was using Cozi.com to coordinate family to-do lists and to get her kids to share and reflect on some of the highlight of the year. 

Another woman in my group said that she has set up a jar in her kitchen where she and her family were writing down great things that happened to them during the week and then putting those in the jar for them to look at and remember their year. We talked about how this idea might also be used within their department and with some of the teens they are working with. 

What struck me was how taking a few minutes to talk about some of our personal practices was so inspiring and engaging for all of us. We each felt like we'd walked away with some actionable ideas and were excited about the different possibilities that came up. 


Does Someone Need Your Information or Your Inspiration?

One of my current projects is working with the New Start Career Network, a Heldrich Center/Rutgers University initiative to help people 45+ who are unemployed for 6 months or more. I'm acting both as a volunteer career/job search coach and as a coach for the other volunteer coaches. 

One of the things that happens a lot when we're coaching people in a job search is a big focus on informational stuff--how to write a resume, how to create a great LinkedIn profile, how to answer specific interview questions, etc. 

But the thing is, while this can be helpful, often the real hurdle that people are dealing with is their own self-confidence, which has taken a beating from the rejection that is so much a part of job search for anyone who is unemployed, but especially for people who have been out of work for awhile.

 I've also found that people who have been trapped in dysfunctional, toxic workplaces have similar issues. They are so beaten down. Their inability to make a move isn't because they lack information. It's because they they have lost touch with the strong, competent person they once were. 

I've become increasingly aware of the need for me to listen more carefully to people when they are asking for advice.

They may come to me thinking they want or need information. But if I listen long enough and well enough, it becomes clear that they really need INSPIRATION. And that's something else entirely. 


Failed Experiment

This week I experimented with posting 3 appreciative interview questions on the blog, hoping to invite some conversation. I got a number of "re-tweets" and "likes" via social media, but no uptake on the discussion. 

When I posted the questions, I guessed that this would be the  case, but I still had hopes for a different outcome. I suspect that the questions might have felt too long and involved, that people might have bookmarked them, thinking they might come back to them, and then moved on to the next thing. 

Or maybe we are just so used to looking for the negative in our lives, we're not even sure what to do when we're asked to think about the best of our experiences. 

No answers here. Just more questions. 

Links I'm Digging

This one is in my Yearbook and we'll be using it in the Leadership Lab.  


I keep talking about the impact of technology on jobs. . .  


The Best Leaders are Constant Learners by Kenneth Mikkelsen and Harold Jarche

Reinvention and relevance in the 21st century instead draw on our ability to adjust our way of thinking, learning, doing and being. Leaders must get comfortable with living in a state of continually becoming, a perpetual beta mode. Leaders that stay on top of society’s changes do so by being receptive and able to learn. In a time where the half-life of any skill is about five years, leaders bear a responsibility to renew their perspective in order to secure the relevance of their organizations.


So these are a few things from my week. 

What interesting things came up for you that you want to share? 


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> they they have lost touch with the strong, competent person they once were
Beautiful insight!
I see so many people fall down, and not get back up.
I see living examples of learned helplessness.

One of the most amazing TED Talks I watched over the holidays was How To Learn Anything in 20 Hours. It was a reminder of how we can rebuilt confidence by changing our approach and learning new ways to learn.

> I suspect that the questions might have felt too long and involved,
Hmmm ... maybe BJ Fogg's insights on Tiny Habits and Motivation Waves provides some insight?
(it seems like small is the new big)

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