The Metamorphosis

For those working from home it can be an isolating experience. For some it’s overwhelming. Sometimes, it feels like your goal is simply to make it through, managing as best you can. The idea of investing in yourself, of developing new skills and habits, can seem like a luxury. 

Here are three people—in Turkey, Brazil, and Germany—who chose to make that investment anyway, and an example of how such individual efforts can lead to greater collective possibilities too.

Turkey

G?k?e emphasized the bonds that developed in her Circle:

Ten weeks ago, I started the WOL journey with four women I had never met. The purpose of the journey was to set goals and try to reach the goal for 12 weeks. In this journey, we supported, helped and cared for each other while trying to reach our goals and we continue to do these things. 

We know that for the rest of our lives, all the gains we have achieved through WOL will be with us, this is more than a 12-week process.

As one of her Circle members commented:

I feel very lucky and happy to take part in this journey with you. It was a wonderful and meaningful experience that I will always remember.

“a wonderful and meaningful experience that I will always remember.”

Brazil

Fernanda described a feeling of personal transformation, both for her and others in her group:

It has been four weeks since a started my first WOL Circle. In this time, I could understand that the idea is to collaborate, share, create, change experiences, personal and professional growth.

But last week, I could see beyond. I realized how far my new friends and I were going. Each one in its own time but all are changing from the inside out.

More than that, all of us are having the humility to open up our vulnerabilities. Those movements made me realize that the WOL Circle as our Mother Nature turns us, through metamorphosis, into beautiful butterflies.

Germany

Daniela wrote about the power and magic of personal development and peer coaching: “we worked, dreamt, and developed all together.”

My last week of holidays marked also the last week of a 12-week Working Out Loud journey that began in the middle of the lockdown. I was lucky enough to join a carefully chosen circle of four impressive and inspiring women.

In John Stepper’s profound programme, the insights and tasks were an inspiring framework to our journey on which we worked, dreamt, and developed all together.

I am sure our journey has just begun and can’t wait to see you all - in person!!

Beyond the Circle

The kinds of connection and transformation they wrote about can extend across teams and departments and even across companies. When it does, that’s when you are changing the culture in addition to building skills and habits.

In a recent post, for example, the Head of Global Learning at Merck, Laura Krsnik, celebrated a rare kind of collaboration across Merck, Novartis, and Roche, where more than a thousand people are in Circles. Inspired by their own experiences, they set out to exchange ideas and see what they might do together,

A team with a joint passion to support others in a world where the only constant is change through Working Out Loud and building relationships that matter—across companies. 

One of the participants commented:

What a pleasure being with like minded people who share a passion to cultivate a culture of collaboration, generosity, purpose and lifelong learning.

Whether you’re seeking connection or metamorphosis, whether it’s for you or your company, the growing set of WOL methods can help you make the change you aspire to make.

Next week, I’ll describe a brand new way to experience the full power of Working Out Loud for yourself.

Still … LIFE! “we worked, dreamt, and developed all together.”

The first Turkish WOL Coach

Sebnem Maier is the newest WOL Coach. She is a role model for Working Out Loud, leading by her example over the last five years, and now she will be spreading Working Out Loud to companies and communities in Turkey. 

What I love about Sebnem’s story is her long history of contributions. 

  • She was in one of the first Circles at Bosch. 

  • She joined Bosch’s WOL Co-Creation team that has spread WOL to over 6000 colleagues in over 50 countries. (For which the team won a Xing New Work Award in 2019.)

  • She led the translation of the WOL Circle Guides into Turkish (version 5 and soon version 6).

  • She created the WOL Community in Turkey—connecting people, creating social media accounts, organizing events.

  • She’s currently supporting female empowerment networks: Turkish Women’s International Network, Binyaprak, and CIYO (Coming Into Your Own) in Turkey.  

Why do all of this? It started with a positive experience in her first WOL Circle almost 5 years ago. 

Before WOL, I thought that no one would be interested in what I share, as there are definitely better people than me. After WOL, I know I can contribute with what I do. The goal is not to serve the whole world but those who feel connected with you and what you do, and who can benefit or be inspired by it.

Sebnem, seated in the middle, with the first cross-company WOL Circle in Turkey

She felt empowered, and she saw that feeling of empowerment grow in others, too. She saw changes that were good for them and also good for the company:

  • Sharing knowledge is seen as adding value

  • Self-organization becomes a basic skill

  • People become more generous and open

  • They are more comfortable with “digital”

  • They become used to be working in communities and even building communities

But why become a Coach?

After almost 5 years of my WOL journey, in personal and corporate matters, I want to contribute with my experience not only to individuals but to companies, especially in Turkey.

WOL is a mindset and working style. I hope to reach thousands of people to make their own experience and grow. I want to see companies in Turkey implementing WOL to make the work more collaborative, joyful, and fulfilling, while empowering their employees and coming one step closer to what “new work” could be.

I am thrilled at what Sebnem has already accomplished and the potential for what she will do in the future. You can reach our newest WOL Coach at sebnem.maier@www.africanmango-slim.com.

WOL Circle Guides now in Turkish!

Even the phrase “Circle Guides” in Turkish - “?ember K?lavuzu” - looks and sounds exotic to me. Seeing over 120 pages of Working Out Loud material in Turkish is a miracle!

It’s also a huge amount of work: translating thirteen guides, standardizing words and phrases, coordinating people across multiple timezones, double- and triple-checking for consistency and correctness. All of it by volunteers. Sebnem Maier, who organized the effort, also set up a LinkedIn group for “WOL Türkiye Toplulu?u” and requested Turkish readers contact her with any edits or comments.

I asked Sebnem and the team what motivated them to take on such a big project, and here’s what they said. I’m grateful for all they’ve done, and inspired by why they did it. 

***

Since I have started my WOL experience in 2016, I was dreaming to have the guides in Turkish to reach people in my country who may have interest in WOL. So my dream has been fulfilled thanks to the great team who translated the guides with me voluntarily. Now, all Turkish-speaking people have the possibility to experience WOL and I am very happy about it.

Sebnem Maier – Senior manager at Robert Bosch GmbH, WOL Mentor, WOL Co-Creation Team

I felt that it was a simple yet genuine tool designed to help people to understand how to add a human touch to  their digital relations. I just wanted to have more people exposed to it and not be limited by language. We need to get closer and together. In person or on digital platforms. We need to relearn to look and see each other eye to eye, people to people, without boundaries of our limitations.

Nurhayat Ulucan – HR Manager, PPG Turkey

I observed in my Turkish Circle as a moderator that language might be a barrier for some people. For a successful rollout of the method, which is what I aim in my home country, Turkey, and for a better life as the WOL ambassador, it was necessary to have the guides in my mother language.

Rüya Demirtas – Project manager, Process improvement specialist, Bosch Turkey

It is a unique method which helps to discover and to understand your own goals by building relationships. We are happy and excited to help WOL reach more people by helping to translate the guides to Turkish.

Ebru Bakir Kandemir & Zafer Kandemir

As a psychology student, what motivated me to become a part of WOL was the enlightening experience of self-actualization, self-realization and self-confidence with the weekly Circle meetings in a friendly, understanding environment.

Zeynep Ta? – Junior Student Majoring Psychology at Ko? University in Turkey 

We have been searching for a sharing methodology to organize women's Circles to harness our sisterhood's knowledge and passion to share with each other. WOL will unlock this potential. Thank you John and the team! 

Melek Pulatkonak – Founder of TurkishWIN & BinYaprak