WOW Blog

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Interdependence Day

July 2022

As many of you know, on July 5th, right on the heels of Independence Day in the United States, our Founder and CEO Dr. Linda Bark likes to celebrate Interdependence Day. To be clear, independence is just as important to celebrate as interdependence…finding a delicate balance between both is needed more than ever right now, in this increasingly polarized world.

In terms of interdependence, we have a desire to collaborate with each other, have each other’s backs, and feel that we belong and are connected to the group. In terms of independence, we also have a drive to figure things out on our own, make our own authentic/personal choices, carve out our own paths, and express ourselves as individuals. 

So, how do we decide when we need to be interdependent and when to be independent? Can they be happening simultaneously? What are the appropriate boundaries? How do we develop systems for this in a world that still may be thinking it’s “this OR that”, and not yet “both, AND”.

This is an incredibly complex and nuanced topic, and we do not proclaim to have all the answers, however we can see the BIG ethical questions that come up are:

1. When it is ok to override individual rights for the sake of the group?

2. Is it ever ok to override individual rights for the sake of the group?

As we consider this, first let’s take a look at some different decision-making styles:

Style #1: The leader of the group decides.

Style #2: The leader of the group decides with the help of others.

Style #3: Everyone in the group has an equal say, and everyone’s vote is counted the same. In this instance the group needs to decide if there must be a consensus, if there only needs to be a majority vote, or, if there needs to be consent…meaning that each person does not have to agree, but those that disagree would consent to the decision.

Style #4: The leader of the group asks others in the group, or perhaps specific members of the group with expertise in a particular area to decide. In this scenario, there are the same issues in Style #3 where the group needs to decide if they need a consensus, a majority, or consent.

As you can see, some decision-making styles have more in place for individuals to be respected, seen, and heard, while considering the needs of the group. We invite you dive deeper into different decision-making styles for yourself and observe what you see prevalent in your workplaces, families, community organizations etc., and how conducive they are to both respecting the individual AND functioning as a larger group.

Have a wonderful month, and Happy Interdependence Day! 

All the best,

The Wisdom of the Whole Team


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