Notes on Cooperation

Notes on Cooperation

While this refers to the work place, it can apply to clubs as well.

Nothing will destroy an organization faster than allowing cooperation and teamwork to disintegrate into excessive competition. A little competition is often a good thing. It keeps people on their toes and helps them do a better job. Too much competition, on the other hand, is definitely a bad thing. Some people may wind up spending more time fighting each other than in doing their jobs.

How much competition is good, and when does it become bad? Competition is good as long as people express it by seeing how well they can perform their own jobs. Competition is bad when it goes beyond that point.

Here are some common symptoms of over-competitiveness - perhaps you'll recognize a few: People trying to build up the importance of their own jobs and lessen the importance of others, refusing to extend whole hearted cooperation which others need to do their jobs well, snipping, backbiting, criticism, and obvious personal rivalries between people who can't seem to agree on anything.

There's only one good answer to this kind of situation, that's for the boss to step up the first minute it comes to his attention and put a stop to it. There's no use ducking the issue. If you do, you'll have to live with it forever, and it will probably get worse before it gets better. When you notice tendencies of this kind, call in the people involved and discuss it with them. Point out that you are interested in the best results for the entire organization and you expect them to be the same. Mention the fact that they are judged, not only by what they do, but by how well they cooperate with others. Tell them frankly that you cannot tolerate personal rivalries at the expense of the company. If they are convinced that you mean it, most will put a curb on their personal ambitions and start working 100% for the company.


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