I recently facilitated a World Cafe-style conversation with Steady State Manchester on ‘Work and Income’. We all shared our own experiences of work and our hopes and fears for the future. There was a common wish for a more collaborative, equal and flexible world of work which better draws on people’s diverse range of skills and experiences. Can Working Out Loud (WOL) in an ‘open, generous and connected way’ help us achieve this dream?
Six months ago Nicola, Helen and I came up with our top 10 tips for happiness and wellbeing at work.
We then had a fun and purposeful few weeks drafting contents for a Happiness & Wellbeing at Work ebook elaborating on our tips and sharing some of our tried and tested tools. We were mid-way through our final edit when we joined John Stepper and 23 others for a week for his pilot WOL certification course.
At that point I had read John’s book and was part way into my first WOL circle. It was instinctively clear that WOL would contribute towards happiness at work and that WOL circles are a powerful tool for improving workplace wellbeing but I was yet to properly experience for myself.
With each and every conversation I’ve since had about WOL it has become clearer that WOL can be key to unlocking happiness and well-being at work.
Three months later I’ve dusted off our list and, surprise surprise, WOL supports each and every tip for happiness and well-being at work. Here they are, and how WOL supports them.
- Know What Matters to You – This is the starting point for WOL and for participating in any WOL circle. A circle supports reflection on what matters to you and helps you identify and refine a goal you care about.
- Be Curious – Working Out Loud nurtures curiosity, encouraging you to step outside your normal sphere; to seek out new people and ideas; and to learn more about the people you do know and the world around you.
- Build Good Relationships – Working Out Loud helps you deepen relationships and find meaningful connections by sharing your thinking and working in an open, generous and connected way.
- Give and Receive Feedback – This is a key element to Working Out Loud. Step by step, working out loud circles help you to practice appreciation, contribution and open and honest dialogue.
- Share Responsibility – Working Out Loud teaches you to share your thoughts and working; to involve others in shaping ideas; and to spread responsibility and ownership. It is both an empowering and liberating practice which leaves you better equipped to take responsibility and action yourself and to empower others.
- Embrace Difference – Working Out Loud is a great equaliser. It introduces you to new people, opening the door to new perspectives and experiences and helps everyone shine for who they are.
- Be Purposeful – Purposeful discovery lies at the heart of Working out loud. It is a deep and often lengthy search of self to find your Ikigai (a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”).
- Have Fun – Working Out Loud encourages you to work in a way that will give you more pleasure. It helps liberate ideas and feelings and provides new experiences and possibilities. The peer to peer support that circles provide helps satisfy our sociable natures – we are far more likely to have fun pursuing our goals if we don’t feel on our own.
- Design It In – Working Out Loud supports you to systematically redesign your day to day life so you are better able to realise your goals. This includes what you do and when, who you do it with and where. You are encouraged to pay attention to the things that make for a good day and to set new habits through practice, practice, practice.
- Celebrate Success – Working Out Loud increases levels of positivity, appreciation and recognition. You and your contributions become more visible and you learn to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements and the success of others around you.
If these top tips sound appealing to you, you might want to consider signing up for our Working Out Loud course.
Do you have anything you’d add to our top tips list? Tweet Eve at @EveHSAUK or @evefrancisholt and continue the conversation!