“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” – H.E. Luccock
However independent we think we are, no woman or man is an island. We all need cooperation at home, work and in our daily interactions. If your experience is anything like mine, sometimes that can be frustrating. It can feel like others don’t want to cooperate, don’t share your ethos, or are just being obstructive.
You might ask, what’s the difference between ‘teamwork’ and ‘cooperation’? Well cooperation is the act of cooperating, while teamwork is the cooperative effort of a team of people for a common end. For example, if while I am waiting at a bus stop in the rain, I ask you to hold my umbrella while I find my mobile phone in my handbag and you agree, you are cooperating. If we, and the others at the bus stop decide to push the bus that has broken down in the hope that it will start, that is teamwork. I have chosen to focus on inspiring cooperation because we are not all part of a team, but we always need others to cooperate with us.
So how do you do it? Well, simply telling others to cooperate with you just doesn’t work, neither does making assumptions. To inspire cooperation, you must Ask, Listen & Facilitate, here’s how:
Ask with Precision
Others might not cooperate with you if they don’t know exactly what they should be doing; too often our ‘Ask’ isn’t clear. One of the first modules on my online programme is about perfecting your ask and having the courage to deliver it.
Is the person that you want to cooperate with you clear on the actions that you want them to take? How will they know they’re doing it successfully? Have you shared your big vision to inspire them into action?
I’ve personally recognised that when my ask isn’t clear, I end up feeling that people aren’t working with me, but that’s because they can’t read my mind!
Cooperation and good communication go hand in hand. Check that you are not making assumptions and perhaps use a psychometric questionnaire to understand your communication preferences and those of others.
Listen for Motivation
If you want to inspire cooperation in someone, it’s important to understand what motivates them. Don’t assume that the same things that motivate you will motivate them.
Listen for clues about what enthuses them. If this is difficult, then try and share the many different ways they’ll benefit from cooperating with. Perhaps it will help them solve a problem, save time or money, achieve a goal, or learn something or gain recognition. By doing this, you are showing them why they would want to cooperate with you and tapping into their motivation.
Let them know that their actions make a difference.
Facilitate the How
Asking and listening aren’t enough, you also have to ensure that they have the tools to cooperate with you. After all, they just might not know how or may not have the resources they need. Do they need training, a coach or a mentor? Have you explained it thoroughly enough step by step at the right level for them? You may have explained it before, but they still may need you to recap.
Lastly, do make sure that you go about inspiring cooperation with respect, politeness and clarity.
Now the challenge:
Who is that person or group that you find it difficult to cooperate with? Ask, Listen and Facilitate and notice the difference.
Here’s are some further resources to inspire cooperation in others.
TED Talk: An emotional TEDx talk from Janine Driver, The Cooperation Paradigm: How to Get People to Listen & Cooperate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlOtMn15UJQ[15 mins]
Podcast Phases of Cooperation – Chester Barnard https://www.talkingaboutorganizations.com/e07/ [50 mins]
EVENT: Your Time to Shine – 2 Day Retreat Goal Setting, 2-3 Feb 2019. Find Out More https://www.jennygarrett.global/happenistaretreat/
ONLINE: Develop your skills and grow your confidence with our Online Professional and Self-Development Programmes
Happenista Project Step 1 https://www.udemy.com/the-happenista-project/
Happenista Project Step 2 https://www.udemy.com/happenista-project-step2/
Happenista Project Step 3 https://www.udemy.com/the-happenista-project-step-3/
QUIZ: Are you a team player? https://www.eatyourcareer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Are-you-a-Team-Player.pdf
Psychometric: Understand your personality type http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp