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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640


We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.


Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: Playing Well With Others?

Peter Nicholson

Getting Over Myself
I was warned. Somewhere early in my career, someone pointed out that managing people would be one of the most difficult jobs I would have. Working on highly collaborative projects, there are plenty of relationships to navigate. I’ve learned that if there is a misunderstanding with a staff member or peer, the first person to question is myself. This behavior doesn't come naturally. Progress on increasingly urgent issues can’t be impeded by petty concerns. Understanding conflict includes comprehending ourselves as much as others. Whether it is managing interns with unfamiliar work processes, or colleagues who appear to have gone rogue, I’m finding myself less inclined to get upset, and more focused on making progress. Which doesn’t mean denying how I’m feeling, but rather directing my efforts toward the most productive outcomes. I’ve come to appreciate that the more significant action I can take isn’t to try to reign someone in, but rather to more fully consider how I’m going to respond. Sometimes expressing gloriously cathartic feelings of frustration is appropriate, but unfortunately, not nearly as often as I might like.