Q3: What are the barriers?

Former Employee

Q3: What are the barriers to Working Out Loud that you’ve come across? How did you overcome them?


Question 4 has been posted!

31 Replies

Question 4 is now posted!

^^^ THIS. YES.

Tiny Habits are huge. Spend time each day to Describe, Respond and Celebrate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqcQJnrhngk
Here's a blog I recently wrote on that exact subject for perhaps reading later "ESN Tipping-point" 7 barriers and ways to crack it! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-ways-crack-esn-tipping-point-lesley-crook?trk=mp-author-card
One barrier is making a decision before a conversation has had a chance to develop (although sometimes it's just necessary). Sometimes people's best ideas take time to conceive. Even though working out loud implies "discussion," you're not really working out loud if you're not also listening. Overcome this barrier by discussing your work early!
Somehow, we have to start valuing contribution instead of completion (which never happens in a service-oriented world), and valuing people that are well-connected instead of supposed "experts" (which don't actually existing a world that changes this fast).
Adding on to @Allison Michels above, when posting, are you trying to be interesting or are you interested? Reminds me of those early social collab debates we had back in the day.

Barrier: Trust. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Building that trust is the foundation to working out loud. That's why community management is so key. Community managers help people feel like their contributions matter by liking them, sharing them, helping people find that content who need it. That builds trust and engagement.

As I was learning the power of working out loud, my biggest barrier is concern about how people will interpret what I say.  Will they think me foolish for not knowing things I "should" know?  Will they think me arrogant for sharing information I know and others don't?  Will my boss think I'm wasting my time typing out what I'm doing?


So I tried it - I talked to my manager to make sure he was on board with my participation.  I typed what I was working on - and I found that others thought I was helpful, and they appreciated my honesty and willingness to help.  and I found that my coworkers were understanding and wonderful to work with - beyond my expectations.

Amen on fears, Melanie. Posting in public is akin to kissing spiders to some folk.

So much this: 

@Deleted wrote:

One other thought... don't underestimate people's fear of this new behavior. We don't want to be wrong. We don't want to look uninformed or even stupid or out of the loop. We don't want our lack of progress on a deliverable from one week to another to reflect badly on us. We don't want to be pulled off our schedule by the new information that someone contributed because we worked out loud!

Brusque dismissal can often hide the fear of the unknown. Just like there is no one-use-case-fits-all with Yammer, there is no one-approach-fits-all when talking to individuals about Yammer.

Similar to what others have said, I think it takes some getting used to seeing information appear in a conversation that you haven't been able to talk to your team about yet. Another barrier is getting management comfortable with the process, sharing draft content, getting over the fear of judgement because it's not perfect, and encouraging their teams to do it as well. I really like @Cartier Gwin's point about listening. It's a two way road, sharing and listening (providing feedback).