Week 2: Collaboration and Resolving Conflicts
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”- Henry Ford
When you think about the skills needed to succeed in any type of work environment, what comes to mind? Flexibility and adaptability? Creativity? Persuasion? Or something else?
The workplace of the future will demand these skills.
We work on these at Innovator by providing challenges that require a team effort. When you are forced into working with others, you naturally learn the skills needed for collaboration.
This does not come easy for all. Often in the growing phases, a hero will struggle with victimhood, “They never listen to me!” or resistance, “I’m not playing if you don’t do it my way.”
As the individual grows and begins to trust their fellow travelers, they become more flexible. They start to listen to other ideas, bouncing new ones off of other heroes, and mixing all the ideas together to come up with the best one. This can take months or even years for some to develop.
Collaboration is essential for life. It is worth the struggle.
How many adults can you think of that don’t play well with others? Some have even made successful careers out of this trait and believe it to be a benefit.
However, we will never go as far and as high on our own as we will by rising with others. We most certainly cannot change the world without collaboration. No one ever has effected worldwide change all alone.
In our MS studio, we have just introduced a poster that lists 3 obstacles one may face on their Hero’s Journey:
Taking the first step, expressing gratitude, and focusing are the action steps to dodge the obstacles. The choice has to be made by each individual Eagle to execute the action step or be blocked by the obstacle. This choice has to be made daily, over and over again.
Mindset is everything. Sincere, reflective conversations about our mindset and behavior happen around our rugs each day.
In a typical classroom, the teacher would most likely step in when conflict arises and give directives for the students, bringing order and peace. Instead of providing instructions, our guides actually take a step back when chaos ensues.
This takes incredible discipline as a guide. It requires trust and the complete release of the need to control. The easy thing to do is to rush in with the answer to fix the issue. After all, we are the adults who know better, right?
One way we encourage ourselves as guides is by asking, “am I willing to steal this learning opportunity from this child?”
When you trust the process and trust that the hero will grow and embrace their Hero’s Journey, you give space for deep learning to occur.
When a hero hears from their peers, “when you do ____, I feel ____. Could you please not do that anymore? or How can we move forward together in a better way?” It carries far more weight than anything an adult could say.
Our guides are always available to help facilitate a conflict resolution in this manner, but more often than not the Eagles facilitate it themselves. They even elected a council, a group of their peers who have been appointed to help resolve conflicts in the studio.
Beholding the process as it unfolds brings to mind a favorite quote from Maria Montessori-
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say,
“the children are now working as if I did not exist.”
Trust the child. Trust the process. Trust the journey.