“The habit of putting more good things into the world makes for a better world.”

What a gift it has been to watch a group of people become friends. Though we were all acquainted with one another when our Working Out Loud (WOL) circle began last week, participating in only a few exercises and conversations with one another has brought us all much closer together. We are already talking about finding a way to go out to dinner at a time in the future, although we all live in different geographical locations.

We are already seeing participants changing behaviors. One of our participants is getting more used to checking our Yammer network because she knows that this is the place where the meaningful conversation of our group is going to be taking place. Another has gotten her family engaged in pursuing her goal with her, giving her two wonderful support networks.

One of our participants summed up the general feeling of our group, referring to a feeling of “Intellectual Altruism.” Being more generous with information and expertise helps others in their work, and though altruism suggests a lack of self concern, we all agreed that being more generous makes us feel better about ourselves and our work. The feeling of the group was summed up so beautifully by one of our participants who said “The habit of putting more good things into the world makes for a better world.”

-We started our first circle with 7 participants, and quickly realized this was too many people. So everyone could have time to talk, and to share their feelings and what they are working on, there should absolutely be no more than 6 people in a group, and as John Stepper suggests, 2-5 is ideal. One of our participants could not attend the first week ,and was very cooperative in being switched to another group.
-We meet on Zoom, and found we get so invested in our conversation that we don’t get to the activities as outlined in the circle guides. That is OK, though. We all agreed that, in addition to the suggested readings, we treat the circle guide activities as homework activities between meetings, and discuss how we did on those activities during our WOL circle meetings.
-Many of our participants are having a difficult time with Twitter. “I don’t have time to check one more place.” “I don’t understand what it’s for.” “Do I really have to do this?” I suggested that we give Twitter a few more weeks before people make up their minds, but personally I have found it to be a wonderful networking and learning tool.

Next week we talk about our schedules, and about how although we are all so busy, we can actually find time to “pay ourselves” first.

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