cooperation and resistance loops for team communicatino and solution finding

We know the Resistance Loop

For that loop to exist the Cooperation Loop must also exist.

The cooperation loop is a mindset of working to find cooperation…any size large and small and develop practice of building from that cooperation.

I argue that it works way better than the resistance loop and the results are greater for everyone.

Sounds great BUT that will never work here. The other guy is a real jerk and will take advantage of me…

Wow…that sounds challenging. Here is an example of a team that thought the same thing.

The finance team in a Health Care Company. Was struggling with sales representatives and project managers turning in expense and budget reports on-time…They told me “We have tried everything and our CFO is tired to putting out fires for us.”

started by asking:
  • What do you want the people in sales and the project managers to do?

I flip charted a bunch of responses…writing what they said.

From the ‘What do you want them to do list’  asked:
  • When the people are doing this…how will you notice?
  • When this is being done and you are noticing…what will be better about your work?
  • When this is being done and you are noticing…what will be better about their work?

The finance team in groups of 3 flip charted those responses.

Asked ‘Who is doing what you want them to do?’ + How did you manage to make that happen?
  • We discussed who is getting expenses and reports in on time AND specifically how the finance people made that happen.
Now we are getting somewhere 
  • Seems like we have some cooperation. Who is in charge of the accounts that are getting the cooperation you are looking for?
  • Share with the team as specifically as possible how you get the cooperation and continue to have a useful working relationship with the people who you need cooperation from.

5 people shared stories and successes and how they navigated getting work done.

We created cooperation work teams

Placing the finance members in teams of 3 they were asked to accomplish the following task:

  • Between now and next time we meet, in 2 weeks. I want you to focus on seeing the person who you need the finance information from as a cooperator. Plus be able to, with clear and concrete examples, share what happened and what you would like to have happen again with this person.
We met in 2 weeks and shared cooperation stories

It was good…we had some resistance stories and mainly cooperation stories. Several people shared understandable real examples of how they got what we needed AND helped the Project Manager or Sales Rep get what they wanted…leading to both people getting their work done.

  • I recommended that each team of three start documenting ‘what worked’ and create a way to share these examples with the rest of the finance team.
  • They did that and created an AMAZING Finance Department Knowledge System. Listing departments and people within the company and stories of what worked and cooperation with that person.
Follow up 3 months later
  • On time expense reports from Sales up 23%
  • On time budget requests and updates from project managers up 48%
  • Continued building and use of ‘What Works + Cooperation Knowledge Management System’
  • Finance team shared several stories of feeling less stressed, enjoying work more.
  • People from outside the Finance Department were being more proactive to supply information without finance chasing them for it.

Cooperation Worked

Of course resistance still existed and everything wasn’t sunshine and rainbows…and viewing the situation and person as a cooperator ended up improving the work and productivity.

What do you think?

Do you have an example of a cooperation loop? How can you use the example above?

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