Cooperation literally means “working together,” from the Latin “co”, together; and “operare”, to work. The elements that are necessary to engage cooperation are; it requires excellent communication between all parties, the establishment of a shared understanding of the goals desired, in most cases a mutual benefit of all participants, the effort of each to reach and maintain those goals, and the awareness of others’ feelings. Cooperation from others is
what we all rely on to live our lives to the fullest; the more cooperation we can get, the happier we can be. Unless you’re a cave dweller, we need each other. Working together, great things happen.
WWWFundamentally, cooperation is based on a win/win mentality: it emphasizes interdependence rather than independence and competition, where interdependence should not be confused with dependence, the former comes from a place of strength, and needs independent participants for it to work, and dependence comes from a place of weakness where it could never forge an interdependent relationship. The desirability of interdependence lies in the fact that it is the recipient of group synergy, where people rise higher than the sum of the individual participants.
WWWA win/win way of doing things may seem idealistic to many, where they look out and perhaps see a tough selfish world, yet ironically, that’s precisely what can bring us together because mutual benefit does, in fact, speak to the selfish side as well as the generous side of ourselves. What part of win couldn’t any of us understand? What part of it isn’t in our best interest? Win/lose comes from a place of inflated ego, playing the zero-sum game of I cannot feel a win unless you lose, uninterested in solving problems; it’s only about a power struggle, and of being right. Ego reveres competition; facts become threatening and ignored, and is the antithesis of cooperation, where it attempts to inflate itself further.
WWWIt’s understandable, because so much of society is based on competition—sports, the Olympics, business, politics, entertainment—all, a win/lose scenario. Yet ironically, even in those intense arenas, cooperation is at the core of success; the individual teams practice cooperation to be their best, individual companies are as successful as their internal cooperation, and politics rely heavily on the cooperative effort of their constituency to
WWWCooperation and win/win are reliant upon one of the greatest evolutionary marvels between species—communication. From bacteria, that communicate chemically, to ants that have a communication system of touch and pheromones so sophisticated it acts as one organism, to many oceanic animals that communicate through sound. Water being a superb sound medium of such efficiency, it travels five times faster than through air, and at unbelievably vast distances, where scientists have recorded low frequency calls of whales communicating from the coast of Canada to Puerto Rico.
WWWWhen animals made their debut to land, vocal chords were developed to more powerfully transmit sound through the less efficient medium of atmospheric gases, also allowing those species to communicate and enhance their survival rate. And we homo sapiens, through the phenomenal invention of words and language, seem to have the
most elaborate communication system in the history of life; not only could we communicate through sound, we could also communicate silently through the next phenomenal invention of the written word. Language accelerated cooperation, and thereby accelerated our evolution, a quantum leap in exchanging thoughts, leading to man’s dominion of planet Earth.
WWWIt seems paradoxical, as when a person teaches, he or she experiences a continuing learning experience in the process. Writing, likewise, brings up thoughts you were hardly aware of, forcing the writer to crystallize his or her thoughts in order to communicate them with clarity. Along with experience, knowledge, and research, something from down deep is stirred, and you allow yourself to know what you know. It brought to mind some of the mistakes I’ve made in the heat of everyday life; allowing me the opportunity to bring a good degree of insight to my words on these pages. Sharing these thoughts is fulfilling, and also helps me to be more competent in my own interactions with people.
WWWIn reading this book, it is my sincere hope you come away with a renewed sense of how valuable cooperation can be, and an excitement for the tools and concepts presented here toward its attainment.