Why Building A Strong Foundation of Real Connection Supports Good Collaboration

Yesterday I shared my story about Why Collaboration Really Matters to Me for Co-Creating The More Beautiful World.

There were a variety of responses from the members of The More Beautiful World FB group that were relevant to the topic, that I’ll aim to address in this article.

First, this response provided a great invitation that feels relevant to a lot of people:

“I see the value of collaboration the way that you’ve described your experience. And I haven’t found the group of people to experience it with. There are a few people in my life who are on the same page with me but maybe only one would be interested in creating something together. Any advice about finding people to collaborate with?”

First off, if you haven’t found your “tribe” yet, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You’re not behind in any way and nor is there any rush to do anything to “make it happen”.

The single celled organism wasn’t sitting there fretting about needing to become a multi-cellular organism, so neither do you. Life’s got you covered, so you can relax in the knowing that there’s no urgency to these things and any attempt to push the river is likely to be both futile and send you down a longer path of learning so that you can develop patience, trust and faith anyway.

That said, if you’ve been imbued with a vision that you know is yours to create but is not something you can create alone, I also want to acknowledge how uncomfortable that can feel, especially if it’s been gestating in you for a long time.

So there are things that you can do to get the ball rolling.

For one, take steps to articulate your vision.

Write it out, create diagrams and flow charts, build an artifact that supports you to communicate the seed that’s inside of you, externally.

In the process of doing it, it will not only help you to clarify the vision, but it will also give you what you need to transmit and communicate your vision to others, such that they can determine with greater certainty if they resonate with it, and potentially also share what they are seeing that may up-level, iterate or elaborate upon it such that it can become a shared vision that they feel moved to stay in connection with you and deepen in relationship around.

However, that also requires you to be willing to express your vision. To talk about it with the people in your circles, and if it doesn’t resonate with them, to put it out more widely, potentially into groups like this, relevant industry forums or on social media, to serve as an attractor beacon, rather than keeping your paperwork and artifacts tucked away in a little corner in your office.

As you can probably tell from my story, if I’d have limited myself to only expressing my vision to the people I grew up around, people would have just thought I was nuts and told me to give up (and plenty did). So I had to be prepared to lean into the discomfort of expressing it more widely and then seeing what kind of feedback I got from reality that could guide my next steps.

Which brings me to some of the other comments that have come up on my posts.

Because what you’ll notice is that as soon as you start putting yourself out there and take First Action to articulate and express your vision in the world, you are inevitably going to get push back from people who don’t resonate with it.

Don’t be disheartened, it’s all part of the natural initiatory process that is growing you to become the kind of person who is able to anchor your vision into reality and will reveal to you how clear your energy field is (and thus the signal you’re putting out to attract your tribe) in that process.

I love this quote from Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly” by Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Bottom line is, you simply can’t please all of the people all of the time, so there’s no point in hoping or expecting that you will. Even Charles experienced this kind of pushback when he published “The Coronation” article recently.

Resonance is one of Nature’s glorious self-selection tools. If you didn’t turn some people off, then equally you also couldn’t by contrast, turn others on. And it’s the ones who are turned on by your expression who are self-selecting into potential relationship with you.

So you can trust that, and there’s no need to take it personally. That said, if by putting yourself out there the comments emotionally trigger you, and you get upset or become reactive, then there is probably enough truth in the comment that it’s illuminating something within you that would potentially risk distorting your message and as such it’s valuable feedback which you can be grateful for.

If something triggers you, it’s because it’s hitting up against some resistance to feeling something, perhaps illuminating a sense of unworthiness in you, your doubts about your ability to serve, provide value or bring the vision to fruition. So you have the choice to allow your energy to get sucked into a vortex responding around it (which, in and of itself, may still be a valuable exercise in supporting you to find your voice, clarify what you’re really seeking to create or discern the nuances of your message — so again, there’s nothing wrong per se) or you can drop into the discomfort and allow the emotion that it’s poking at in you to move through and be released from your system.

Once the emotion is released, those kinds of comments won’t trigger you anymore, because they aren’t rubbing up against unprocessed emotion or a part of your ego that’s desperately trying to defend its worth.

In expressing your vision you will likely magnetize people into your life who feel some resonance with you or with it. You saw that from some of my previous posts earlier this week. Some people will just “get it” and they will likely feel just as happy to have found someone who gets it too.

Once it’s clear that there’s enough resonance between you that you feel inspired and curious to take further steps into the exploration of connection together, our team found nothing that’s more singularly effective or beautiful for building that connection than sharing and listening to each others’ stories.

That’s probably no great surprise given that, as Charles speaks to in reference to the Old Story and the New Story, the story we hold within us is such a foundational map for how we view and understand the world.

The process of sharing stories is such a profoundly valuable experience that I wrote a Medium article about it, which I’m sharing here called “The Beauty and Benefits of Storytelling for Building Connection”

https://medium.com/…/the-beauty-and-benefits-of-storytellin…

As I share in the article,

“The first step, or the first “Initiation” if you will, in coming into relationship with each other was sharing our origin stories with as much transparency, courage and vulnerability as we can muster.

In my experience, this is a skill and a discipline that evolves over time as we continue to do it, but there has been little that’s been more supportive in building initial trust in connection than our willingness to share ourselves in this way.

It is the kind of innate bonding ritual that is so natural and familiar to us because it harks back to the tribal days of storytelling around the campfire, before technology was even a thing. We’ve literally been doing it for thousands of years.”

Ultimately, good collaboration is born of real connection.

If the connections aren’t deep and strong, if you don’t care enough, if you don’t have confidence in where someone is coming from and what their motivations are, if you’re only in relationship with the people because they have the right skillset on their resume, or they bring money or contacts to the table but you can’t imagine navigating the highs and the lows with them, then you’re probably not going to go the distance together.

Because the startup success rate is low for a reason. It’s not an easy journey. You have to be prepared to be extraordinarily committed to your own development and that of your team, which takes self-awareness, self-responsibility, self-leadership, a willingness to forgive and let go, resilience, patience, humility, trust and a myriad other qualities that your journey will push you to develop at a pace that’s likely right at the edge of your comfort zone.

If you’re working on creating something that already exists (e.g a new supply chain for medical equipment, or car model or clothing design or computer game) then it’s likely to be easier, and you would want to go with the people who you not only like and resonate with, but who, as a baseline, have the requisite skills and expertise in those fields. Being on the “same page” with respect to worldview or understanding of reality or spirituality isn’t essential because there are existing models to follow to create the thing you’re working on together.

If, however, you’re going for something novel and inventive, and you’re pioneering a new system or technology, then you’re likely to have to traverse more of the energetic aspects and alchemy required to access the creativity and adaptability to consistently navigate your path toward the novel solution.
In that case you’ll want to be in the kind of relationship with people similarly to how I’ve described in my post. It takes devotion to the shared vision and a willingness to stay in and through the fires of transformation together (and some will likely naturally peel away or bounce out along the way as they hit their own thresholds).

So, in summary, finding your tribe starts with the process of clarifying the vision within yourself, taking First Action to articulate and share it with others, having the confidence to put that out as a beacon, allowing the feedback to continually support you to clear your vessel of anything that would interfere with you putting out a clear signal, letting those who are resonant come to you and staying open, available and receptive to who or what life brings.

Remember, these things tend to flourish when we refrain from putting any time constraint on them (thereby embodying the notion of a truly infinite game) and so it takes discipline to stay centred and patient and not try to push the river.

So have the courage to put yourself out there and trust that you’ll know the people when they show up by your shared resonance.

I’m now opening 3–5 one-on-one coaching slots to work with me to support powerful women to access the collaborative and co-creative power that lies within their relationships.

If you want to hop on a Discovery Call to explore what that could look like, reach out to me.

Or comment below if you’re interested in having a conversation with me.

As a former lawyer, Anna merges material world memories, tales of transformation and embodied experience in articulating the future of collaboration