Working with others is a serious business. The task at hand may be joyful or fun, but the give and take is a sacred interaction because everyone involved is expected to add their “stuff.” Each person is required to put their spin on something and watch it bounce and somersault off of everybody else. Not only that, but every single person is responsible to help everyone else find their nuggets of thought and experience, thus providing a safe runway for those ideas to take off and soar.
To accomplish this requires a very solemn step. To make this happen depends almost entirely on an often simple, but powerful, act: To put yourself into it by taking yourself out of it.
In academic circles this experience is called “antithesis.” It contains two opposites within a single observation. The funny part is, as odd sounding or dramatic in the wording as it may seem, this action cuts to the core of the whole creative process.
At the heart of the collaborative process is your ability to put your ego on pause. Your job is to add yourself to the process with no strings attached. Your objective is to give and take, not personally, but profoundly toward making the task at hand really work.
Handicap This! has provided such a platform for all our distinctly different and dramatic personalities. This is one team that actually works because we do. We offer up opinions, ideas, and questions, not with the thought, “this is mine, this is sacred, this is the only way,” but with the condition that what we share is “unconditional.” Meaning, it comes with only the team’s interest at its core, not whether it makes us look good or come across as creative and smart.
Ego is important for self preservation because to survive on this planet you need a strong sense of self. When you are collaborating however, allow the ego to take a break. A resting ego is healthier for you and creates a more powerfully collaborative partnership with others.
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