Charles Starrett

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Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.

The teamwork of clarity

Strengthening our ability to see clearly requires individual work. Learning to see all the internal influences we carry including our egos, our hopes, fears and other emotions, and the bias of our upbringing and experience is our own responsibility by necessity. Nobody can do it for us.

However, it is also work that we cannot do completely on our own.

We need other people to shine a light on our blind spots. We don’t know what we don’t know until trusted partners hold a mirror up to us so we can see. And sometimes we need support when we have to navigate treacherous terrain in ourselves.

Studies in neurobiology have shown that we are literally wired to work together. From our tone of voice to facial expressions, we have evolved to connect and communicate in ways that allow us to pool our capacity and capability — becoming more together than we are apart.

Just as we can share food with each other and carry a heavy sofa together, we can share and carry intangibles like information, emotional burdens, and inspiration. And by sharing and carrying together, we help each other to grow our capacity and capability for clarity.

And there’s a bonus. While growing our individual ability to see clearly when we do the work together, we also learn to see, sense, and feel together as a team. Together we can see even more clearly, more deeply, and more broadly. And from that greater clarity, comes the creativity and innovation we need to solve some of our greatest challenges.

So yes, we all have to do our own individual work, but by doing that work together, we open up a whole new field of possibilities.

1 August 2022

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