To Cooperate or Compete

Published: Friday, November 13, 2015

Think of the cooperation that it took to build this bridge across the water!

We are taught from a young age how to cooperate with others to create a more harmonious environment. We are also taught how to compete with the premise that it will make us better human beings. Cooperation is a behavior that benefits others through working together to achieve something greater. Competition builds the character of an individual for self-growth and gain.Each one used in the proper balance, these behaviors are core to achieving most goals or outcomes in life. However, if I had one skill I could master it would be cooperation. Here is why:

Teams cooperate before competing

The fundamental definition of a team is a group that works together to achieve something greater than they can do individually. There is no situation in our lives, where cooperation is not involved. However, I do not have to ever compete and can still accomplish greatness with a team. They do this by:

  • Sharing ideas. Adding ideas breeds innovation and creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Standing on the shoulders of others before them. Great teams seek to utilize the talents of each person.
  • Serving to make the team better. The value gained is exponential because everyone is benefiting by everyone else.

Cooperation is a heart behavior

The behavior of cooperation is focused upon the outcomes of others.

  • Others have a part to play and you may be made vulnerable.
  • It takes a kind spirit to cooperate when others don’t want to
  • It takes empathy to understand differing opinions when cooperating
  • There is great joy when others succeed while cooperating.

I am always encouraged more when I cooperate first. It puts my mind and soul at ease. Zig Ziglar has a great quote about the benefit of cooperating with others:

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

  • Zig Ziglar

In what ways do you find cooperation more valuable than competition?