Cooperation In Business

vs. antagonism

Understanding others to effectively work with them

To practice Cooperation I will:

  • find a way to help
  • genuinely listen to others’ opinions and needs
  • respect the decisions of my authorities
  • pull my share of the load
  • see the needs of other as quickly as I see my own

    – Jill Tomey

    From a young age, we were all taught the value of Cooperation when we learned to share. Applying Cooperation to the world of business, goes well beyond the sharing and taking turns of our childhood but much can be learned from those simple lessons.

    Sharing in business takes the form of good communication. It is sharing all the knowledge. It is keeping all members informed so that there is a clear understanding of the goals. It is sharing hardships or issues at an early stage so efforts can be re-directed or adjusted.

    Supervisors practice cooperation when they take turns being the leader with being the listener. Giving attention to co-workers and subordinates is a sign of respect and will help in understanding the reasons behind issues and how to engage their Cooperation. It is important to move beyond just compliance – “what do I have to do to get by?” Real listening and open discussion can bring out commitment to a project or a goal – “what can I do to make this successful?”

    Sharing the praise is another way to invite deeper Cooperation. If a supervisor takes credit for the work of a team rather than applauding the efforts of everyone, there is less incentive to be a team player in the future. Sharing the glory with all involved will build more loyalty to the team and the team’s goals.

    Another way to take turns in business is recognizing the importance of Cooperation over Competition within an organization. Competition between departments can lead to decisions that will make the department look good at the expense of the goal of the organization. Deflecting blame hides the true nature of errors and prohibits the learning that can prevent them in the future.

    Sharing and taking turns may be learned as children but adults can continue to improve these skills of Cooperation. Sharing knowledge and praise will encourage productivity within a team. Taking turns being the listener and not competing internally can also build better Cooperation within an organization.

    This month, what will you share to practice Cooperation at work?