9 elements of joyous work


(To Marija and Danica)


The following text exhibits very briefly the answers to the most frequent question I receive in my inbox:

"What is your advice on successful architectural competition?"

In the following nine points I reveal not-so-obvious hints about my version of "success".



 1. Cultivate a caring and transparent communication in the team.


Are you struggling to find appropriate words and manners to share your opinion, and in what way are your team mates responsive to your statements? Observe that.


2. Encourage constructive discussions without boundaries.


Speaking while drawing together about the proposal may open an immense territory of possibilities, inaccessible to the insights of one individual alone.


3. Hold back from cynical criticism and gossiping.


Rather than mapping what is wrong with somebody, or with another team, try to focus on their beautiful sides, and to learn from them.


4. Feed yourself with valuable emotions, out of the office.


Go for a walk, or a launch, or at the cinema. Speak about the beauty of the atmosphere surrounding your chatting. Observe how the winter breeze and the shy sun beams bring life to your table. Give a rest to your bodies and minds: burn out and panic mode will not serve neither your health, neither your project.


5. Compose the project calendar together, to observe and discuss its possibilities in a most accurate way, from few different perspectives.


No person possesses all talents: a team work is a delicate collective orchestration of radically different personalities, each one of them gifted with particular superpowers.


6. Make space for times of solitude.


A dialogue with yourself after intense group discussions is necessary to interiorize collective decisions within your own framework of values. Share the insights after a day.


7. Express a wholehearted understanding and support to the private life of your team mates.


People leave teams for different reasons, but they stay because of the few people who create the feeling of safety and home in the community.


8. Do not suppress uncommunicated feelings.


The less you speak, the less healthy it is for all of you. Communicate frustrations right away. If there is no safety, no appropriate response on the other side, just leave, and search for a place where your authenticity will be accepted, encouraged and celebrated.


9. Do it for the process, not for the goal.


I am the happiest person when we submit a project that survived a deep thoughtful and emotional process, an intense communication and sharing of knowledge, packed in a remarkable format that supersedes any of our previous projects. If this is achieved, I become uninterested in the official awards and recognitions.


The greatest award is this exciting creative achievement, shared as an inner travelogue, a ritual of self-giving to the limits of the possible.

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