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Can We Suck Less at Collaborating?

Nov 26, 2021 | Conscious Leadership, Daily Trek

Life lived as play through collaborating - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Collaborating is the Key to Our Future

What if there is no “they” and no “us.” No division. No separation. Because we not only have shared purpose but our North Star and purpose is aligned in a collective direction that is bigger than us? What if each one of us was clear on our role, and no one had to tell us what we have to do and accomplish because there was clarity of purpose?

We are now being called to break free of the mindset that generates the fear-based energy needed to power our past and understand that leadership is not outside ourselves. The emerging world is one where we know where we stand because we understand that true collaboration, based on trust, is up to each of us to embrace and create.

Finding oneself on a path of opportunity is a conscious state of choice and discernment and a willingness to leave best practices behind and trek into the unknown.

Questioning Starts Inside of Us: Are We Collaborating within Ourselves?

Things are not always as they appear to be, and one of the shifts that are necessary for each of us to make, at our own pace, is to make personal choices that are healthy for us, without needing to defend them to anyone else. When we make a choice, it ultimately influences the whole. Fighting over whether the choice is right or not is the old way and is no longer the path forward where we choose not to invest our energy in endless conflicts and dramas.

Our energy can now be directed in becoming aware of what and who is healthy for us and what and who is unhealthy for our wellbeing. And no one can tell us what’s best for us. When we become whole within ourselves, separation breaks apart and we realize that no one person is always right or can always choose for the whole. And we step into the world looking for kindred spirits to create something meaningful, together.

Imagine for a moment that we can laugh together; not at one another. Can humor be a key driver to bring lightness into your collaborations in 2022? By trusting that you can move past mistakes and unhealthy choices that you may have made in 2021 or before then, the path is waiting for you to make healthy choices around what’s possible.

What Does It Take for Collaborating to Turn into Play?

In the film Contact, cosmologist Carl Sagan’s wisdom is shared, “See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” What if an organization or a community, like your body, is a living system, where people connect on a journey, an expedition, to find shared purpose in becoming whole, integrate teams around new ways of being, and co-create in trusted communities and unlikely partnerships?

Here are a few key elements that could make us suck less at collaboration. Please add your own:

#1- Trust in ourselves and trust in those deserving our trust. Trust has four cornerstones:

  • Predictability – I can safely expect you to act and respond in a reasonable  way
  • Equitable exchanges – when we make a deal, I can reasonably expect that you will deliver
  • Long term reciprocity – when I make conscious choices (even when no one is looking), it will create a healthy environment for everyone
  • Learning – An expectation that my weaknesses will not be exploited. And over the long term, I will experience that my strengths will be valued, while my weaknesses will be minimized

#2 – Healthy Ego There are gurus who tell us that it’s our time to move from our minds to our hearts, and blame the ego for all our faults, but that simply continues to fragment us. This is our time to heal and align our minds with our hearts and create inner harmony by also listening to the deep whispers of our heart.

When we are clear about why we are here, working and playing together becomes a way of life. There is no one to take down as we are focused on creating something meaningful in our lives. It’s a question of how we want to spend the gift of life and making conscious choices that matter.

#3 – Radical Purpose changes everything. In the old world, we created legal and governing structures to “hold” us accountable, which is part of the command and control world of authority. While we are naturally compassionate and curious, society has broken us away from these innate abilities to ensure we are compliant. Jose Leal, confounder of, and co-author of Radical Companies, reminds us that “Accountability is one person’s view of what another person needs to do, which means “command and control.” But there is a whole world of opportunity to explore when we understand why we are here and choose who we collaborate with. As Jose and his team help so many discover our Radical Purpose, we are collaborating to explore possibilities. 

When we begin to question everything, we take responsibility for the choices we make without the need to conform or comply with an authority figure outside ourselves. What we need right now are more tools to help us create together; not more rules or ways to manage conflict. When we are each clear on our purpose, we can come together and create meaning in our creations.  

#4 – Walking Our Talk Anyone who tells you that they “have your back” rarely does. Ask yourself, why does someone need to tell you this? For me, whenever I hear this declaration, it’s a red flag that they have been hurt or wounded in the past. Someone either “has my back,” or not, they don’t need to call it out.

Communication flows when our words match our actions and is foundational for true collaboration and trust. I have collaborated with many management teams and they are mostly shocked when they see the gap that exists between what they say with what they do. Only ten percent of communication effectiveness comes from our words, the other ninety percent is based on the ability to walk the talk. And the irony is that most invest only in the ten percent and then wonder why engagement is low.

What’s Possible?

We are each standing at a crossroads of possibilities. You can choose to allow in a healthy thought or an unhealthy thought, each directing your life. That’s how powerful you are. When you’re aware of your power and energy source, you can open your heart to fresh opportunities. Every action you take and every thought that comes before it connects you to possibilities and outcomes that were not available before. The rest is up to you to discover.

Where are you choosing to play?

Majorca, Spain November 2021

Ayelet Baron


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