We live and work in a somewhat competitive society. We love a good contest. We love to win. But sometimes I just feel like being more cooperative than competitive. Are cooperative intentions a weakness?
Often conflict situations create an “us against them” atmosphere. It feels like a competitive event rather than a cooperative engagement. I think it would be great if we could create a climate for creative cooperation. If we are open and honest with each other, we can create new alternatives, that neither of us alone would have dreamed.
If we approach conversations, conflict resolution, and negotiation, as a problem-solving event, with the spirit of adventure, discovery, and creativity, who knows what truly unique ideas we could generate. If we begin discussions with the belief that the parties involved will gain more insight from a perspective of mutual learning, we can generate more courses of action.
How to Cultivate Supportive Communication
When we create a supportive communication environment that enables people to be really open to learning and to listening to each other’s ideas, creative brainstorming, is a natural outcome.
The more authentic and genuine you are in conversation the more likely the other party people will feel safe to express themselves honestly. This honesty can produce new insights, ideas, and alternatives, and creative cooperation.
The key to creative problem-solving, conflict resolution, and negotiation, is to value differences. Your attitude can be of genuine interest to understand, to explore the differences, and to see these differences as a valuable resource for better understanding and for creating better agreements.
Valuing the differences is an important attitude and mindset. It helps you appreciate the lively interactions that come from the open and honest discussions with the other party. Value the differences will help you clarify your understanding.
I think we need to prepare like it is a competitive event, but be willing to participate like it is a cooperative engagement. Creative cooperation isn’t a gimmick, it’s a game plan. A game plan where both sides can win.