Muscles for Lightweight Sharing

As I said in yesterday’s #themartian takeaway, I felt like I had something significant to share after each chunk of the day. The experiment was to share just one short takeaway at the end of the day, which actually wasn’t supposed to be an exercise in constraint, but of abundance.

Of course, if I had more to share, there was no reason for me not to do a longer takeaway (which is something I might experiment with later) or to share multiple takeaways. If I felt shy about occupying extra screen time (which I do), I could have found other ways to share — a note on the E3 WhatsApp channel or on my Colearning Slack, even a tweet or *gasp* a blog post!

In a lot of ways, I did this experiment as a way to see if I could encourage others to start sharing. I feel like my muscles for sharing are strong, and they are, especially in comparison to others in my community. At the same time, I’ve been generally unhappy with the low frequency of my sharing over the past year. I’m trying to correct it by investing in higher-level narrative and storytelling and by writing more blogs, but there are lighter-weight things I could be doing that might be tremendously beneficial.

Of course, I already knew that, but I haven’t been acting into it. I confused muscle tone with strength, when the reality is that my sharing muscles have atrophied. Even though I do a lot of internal sharing on my different projects and in my different communities, I can be doing more and a better job of it. This experiment has been a surprising reminder in that.

Possible ideas?

  • Ever since Genentech in 2010, I’ve experimented with video as a way of reporting out after and even during meetings.
    It’s always worked well, and has even become a signature in some projects, but it’s never been a discipline, especially a personal one. I could try it on for a few weeks. Because these would involve other people, it might naturally help build other people’s muscles (and mindsets) around this as well, which is one of my goals.
  • I could do an experiment around sharing a tweeted takeaway after every meeting or chunk of my day.
  • I want to create an external guide for following / stalking me. There needs to be channels for different frequencies and levels of communication. Crafting a guide would not only help my engagement with others, but it would force me to develop an actual strategy. This would have ramifications for my projects as well, because this kind of thinking is useful for community engagement in general.

As I also mentioned on my video yesterday, this experiment has also been a surprising reminder to me of the importance of pausing, which was not the intent, but which I clearly need to strengthen.