Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Competitive Survive – The Cooperative Thrive

By Julie Marie Rahm

The value of cooperating with each other is my favorite lesson to teach whether I am speaking to corporate leaders, volunteers, salespeople or assembly line personnel. To be productive and successful you must eliminate competition from your life. Why? Every person who wins success by competing causes others to lose. When you cause others to lose you are not living a balanced life of value and fulfillment. If you succeed only to feed your ambition, to outperform others, or to be famous you are living purely for the pleasure of your mind. You are not living in a way that balances the triad of your body, mind and spirit. And, you will never be satisfied. Every person who achieves success by creating paves the way for others and inspires them to follow her.

As an aside, if you prefer a more scientific reason to cooperate, while you are on the Internet read about “reciprocal altruism” in evolutionary biology, game theory and the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” in mathematics and neuroeconomics. You will learn that your brain produces dopamine giving you feelings of pleasure when you cooperate, not when you compete. You will also learn that recurring interactions with the same individuals, especially when you enter the interactions with a reputation, stimulate the desire to cooperate. Your brain’s frontal cortex helps you resist the temptation to “win the battle” – the interaction in the short term, and “lose the war” – the long term relationship.

Look at your life. Have you built a life around competing? Do you use expressions like "This is tough," or "I'm fighting my way through this"? Pay special attention to thoughts that keep your mind in competition programming. "This is going to be a long road," or "I've got to work hard so that I can earn this income," are typical thoughts that can lead you toward a life of strains and struggles.

Start now cooperating with your work world. Use your metaphorical pliers to pluck out thoughts of your work world being a difficult place to be and where you always need your sword and shield raised high. Instead take a moment each day to analyze where you can become more cooperative.

Use your metaphorical hammer and hammer in the answers to the following questions. How can you cooperate with the marketplace? How can you cooperative with your boss and fellow associates? How can you cooperate with your family and friends, the weather, your car, and your health? Discipline your thoughts by hammering in your strong self relationship and your vision for what you want to create.

Is your corporate culture so competition-based that you cannot imagine what cooperation looks like? If so, make peace with where you are and start with small changes. Speak respectfully to and about others. Greet people with eye contact and a smile. Keep your work area tidy. Give your best effort to each task and client. Support each other. Help each other.

Remember your work day starts at home, because your mood for the day starts at home. Keep your metaphorical level in balance by cooperating with your environment. Cooperate with your body and its health by sleeping when you are tired and eating when you are hungry. Dress for the weather. Maintain your vehicle or keep your bus/rail pass handy. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at work on time even if there are traffic or transportation delays. If someone is rude to you along the way, use your pliers to pluck out your thoughts about using your finger to show them they are number one and hammer in love. Use your utility knife to cut the cord to all of your past experiences and memories of rude people. Arrive at work with your level in balance.

If you are still struggling to imagine your workplace as cooperative, allow me to use a very specific example of cooperating in a career that is stereotypically competitive, namely selling real estate. Imagine REALTORS® and their associates sharing with each other techniques that work best for them. Imagine a REALTOR® from one company re-setting the sign that blew down in front of a home in her neighborhood being sold by a REALTOR® from a different company. Imagine REALTORS® knowing first hand the inventory of homes for sale in their area and being ready to answer questions about specific homes when potential clients call. Imagine all REALTORS® being masters of client service and their trade.

Use your imagination. Be a leader in your workplace and pave the way with your creating. You may need several interactions cooperating with the same person to build trust. Be persistent. Practice forgiving cooperating.

I cannot emphasize enough the value of cooperation. The REALTORS® I coach experience the success and peace that comes with a focus on cooperating and creating. By applying a cooperative mindset individually and collectively each real estate firm, whose associates I coach, achieves the #1 position in its community. One firm even ranked in the top 10 for its franchise internationally.

Whether or not your company or business has a competitive culture, you can succeed by cooperating and creating. Opportunities will come to you because people will like working with you. Co-workers and management will align with you. You will pave the way and inspire others to create along with you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Top curve