Cooperation is defined as working together to achieve the same end. Working together to accomplish one thing! It’s a beautiful thing to be able to work alongside others, highlighting the strengths of each individual, to accomplish something that takes more than one person.
But cooperation can be more difficult than it sounds! What are the things we don’t know about cooperation that, if remain undiscovered, can lead to a very poor group work experience? Let’s find out!
1. Cooperation Requires Communication
- We spent the entire month of February on the importance of communication! If you think back to some of the things we learned over the course of communication month, what can you come up with? A few I can think of are conflict management through communication, communicative professionalism, and the different types of communication. All three of these lessons and much more can be used to better communicate while also cooperating! Communicate professionally to show those you are working with that you respect them and their ideas. Communication to achieve conflict management can help when an argument or dispute arises in the group and you must kick it to the curb to keep going! You can also use the different types of communication to help you specifically communicate with different types of people and personalities within the group that you are cooperating with!
2. Cooperation Requires Enthusiasm
- It’s always obvious when there is an individual in the group who just doesn’t care. Dealing with that person can be even more difficult than having to teach someone who doesn’t know very much or having to cover tracks for someone who isn’t good at following directions, because at least these two types of people are making an effort. Apathy within individuals will kill a group dynamic! Staying engaged, staying on topic, and staying enthusiastic about what the group can accomplish will make for better cooperation, and you will be so proud at the end to have helped play a role in the group’s accomplishment, rather than having just sat back and let it all happen!
3. Cooperation Requires a Plan
- Mapping everything out that the group wants to accomplish from the beginning leads to less confusion down the road. Maybe it seems tedious to create an idea, write it all down, and assign roles, but it is very effective! When you walk in without a plan, no one really knows what job is theirs versus what job is for the person beside them. It takes so much time to determine all of that on the back end, as opposed to saving that time by making it on the front end. It will keep the group organized, it will keep the group accountable, and it will make for much better cooperation!
These things, whether your group is two people or two hundred, can lead to great cooperativeness like you might have never known to be possible!