Disrupting Togetherness

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Last weekend, my husband and I delivered a series of workshops for 120 teenagers at a gathering in Goshen, Virginia. This was one of several projects we have worked on together recently.

We love and like each other, but we both found doing this together a bit uncomfortable.

We know our family routine—who does what and when, but giving a presentation together or jointly chairing a committee is a new challenge for us. Who is in charge? Who speaks when? What do we do when we disagree on how to present the information?

These new interactions have changed from parallel play to playing together. We are now teammates on the same initiatives instead of supporting each other in our two distinct paths. We've even been a little testy with each other a few times, which is not how we roll in our household. It's unfamiliar territory in more ways than one; it's stretching us, and—I'll repeat it—it's uncomfortable.

Challenges such as this happen to people in the workplace all the time. We work with someone, and over time they become our peer, or they become our boss. We are a moving piece in the reorganization of a company, or we receive a new team assignment. Whatever it is, how we engage with familiar partners shifts, and awkwardness can emerge. How do we work together amicably in the new situation? How do we create with one another rather than compete?

Over the past year, many have had to deal with this shift as we have been closeted together with those closest to us. Weeks and months have passed, often in tight quarters, often with children at home all the time: some who are anxious and others who are bored. We may have suffered from exposure—and overexposure–to each other. With this significant shift in how we were together and the tasks we needed to accomplish, we all had to adapt or suffer the consequences.

The changes in how we work and live together present opportunities to grow if we lean into them. I've had to ask my husband a few times, “Can we have a do-over?” It is also an opening for a newfound appreciation of those nearest to us.

There is a discovery-driven element, as there is any time we focus on a process without knowing the outcome.

Being discovery-driven, the 7th Accelerant of Personal Disruption is the subject of our and the final episode in our series on personal disruption. As disruptors, playing where we have never played before, we don't know where we will end up. That's what we are talking about in this podcast –– how to navigate from the familiar into discovery.

What have you discovered about your closest relationships this past year?
What have you done to improve how you work with people you respect, like, and possibly love?

As always, thanks for being here!

My best,
Whitney

P.S. We are shaking things up on LinkedIn Live with an experiment during August. Several of our longtime Disruption Advisor facilitators and coaches––Ralph Campbell, Steve Ludwig, Maureen Breeze, and Monica Loup––will be headlining the on Thursday at 9am Eastern. Join us!

P.P.S. Thank you! I put out a last week asking you to nominate me for the Thinkers50 Global ranking and Talent Award before August 1. And you did! Regardless of the outcome (which we won't know until November), thank you for your kindness.

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