A short handy guide to (almost) everything that can go wrong when working out loud
People ignore you: the most common experience. You feel like a madman shouting in a busy street. Actually everyone else is just so busy they don’t notice. Keep going. Also try working out loud in smaller, more connected communities.
People don’t get it: old habits die hard. Another person’s lack of understanding is no barrier to you. Keep practising and keep explaining. They will see the benefits eventually.
People think you are bragging: make sure you are sharing work that is still in progress and sharing the good and bad. Otherwise keep going.
People think you are too noisy: Noise is personal. Help those people to see how they can manage noise. Be reasonable with your own sharing.
People think you are indiscreet: often a perception that passes as people come to know you better. Build relationships. Making sure you are sharing about work helps. Keep going.
People think you are pushy: separate perceptions and reality. You can’t force others to work out loud with you. You can’t expect others to help you if you don’t help in reply.
People think you are selfish: Celebrate others and recognise their help. No work is all about you.
People think you have too much time on your hands: let people know how much you have on. Help them to understand how easy it is to share work when you don’t have to dress it up. Show them how much time you save.
People think you are ignorant or incompetent: they might think that anyway. Better to show them your passion to learn and get help.
People think you are different, divergent, a trouble maker or a rebel: you are. Deal with it.
People tell you that you shouldn’t need to work out loud because of the process, the training, the manual, the system or other support: trust your judgement. Sometimes this helps you find the answer you need.
People think you are lazy: just keep showing the work you are doing.
People tell you they are already doing it: people may well be sharing their work in their own way. Help others to understand your practice. Let them work their own way.
People tell you it is a waste of time: discuss the benefits you get. However don’t feel the need to convert everyone. Know the value to you.
People ask ‘but what’s in it for me?’: explain the benefits.
People tell you that you are not doing it right: Ignore the experts.
People tell you that you aren’t expert enough: Ignore the experts. You work out loud to learn.
Corporate affairs, legal or HR get upset: hmm, hopefully you’ve followed policy to the extent that is possible. Make sure you are clear on the reasons why you are working out loud.
You violate national security laws, anti-competitive protection, intellectual property, espionage laws, conflict of interests or otherwise commit a crime: don’t do this again. Probably wise that you paid attention in your compliance training.
You make a mistake: it happens. Be honest. Move on.
You misspell a word, have an autocorrect issue, bad grammar, bad audio or video or people can’t otherwise understand you: see You make a mistake.
You embarrass someone else: some times working out loud draws in other private people. Take care of their feelings and check first.
Your boss tells you to stop: are they right? If yes, stop. If no, continue in a different way. If your boss is really wrong, do you need another job?
Your family think you spend too much time doing it: probably worth listening to them. Working out loud is about work. You don’t want work intruding everywhere.
All the issues are survivable. Keep going
If you have more suggestions, please add them in the comments.