Cooperate; cooperation; team;
What is cooperation?
Cooperation (say ko-op-er-ay-shun) is when two or more people work together so that they are all better off.
For cooperation to work, everyone has to be an active member of the team and do what they agree to do.
What does cooperation look like?
People who are working as a team and cooperating with each other:
- listen to each other without interrupting
- encourage everyone to join in
- are willing to hear and accept the ideas of others
- are willing to change roles in the group, eg. may be a leader sometimes and a follower at other times
- recognise the skills and strengths of others
- don't compete with each other
- discuss problems calmly
- show respect for each other
- take responsibility for their part of the task
- are willing to work towards the success of the group rather than their own individual success
- have good communication skills (say com-you-ni-kay-shon). Have a look at the topic Let's communicate.
How to be a cooperative person
People who cooperate with each other have interesting and busy lives, get on well with others and are valued members of the community.
- They are good listeners.
- They use good manners.
- They are ready to sort out differences and compromise so that everyone gets something of what they want - a 'win/win' result.
- They take responsibility for their actions.
- They keep promises.
- They always play fair and follow the rules.
- They don't cheat or gossip.
- They help others.
- They encourage others to try hard.
- They get involved in teams, clubs, student council or community groups.
- They happily do whatever task is asked of them by parents and teachers.
- They share.
- They take turns even when it is something they don't really want to do - like chores at home.
- They 'give it a go' for the good of others in the team.
- They don't bully others into doing what they want.
- They make others feel needed.
- They don't leave others out.
- They don't try to take all the credit for a shared task.
- They keep trying.
Cooperation in the family
Your family is the most important 'team' that you will ever work with.
To be successful everyone in the family needs to:
- respect each other
- respect each others space and belongings
- listen to each other
- do chores at the right time and willingly
- learn how to work out problems without fighting each other
- communicate well so that everyone knows what is happening
- spend time together as a family
- celebrate each others successes and support each other through the sad times
- learn to share.
There are lots of topics about families on this site. Here are some which may be useful in helping your family to cooperate well.
- Family relationships - brothers and sisters
- Family conflict - when families fight
- Getting along with your parents
- Conflict resolution.
Cooperation at school
To have real cooperation at school everyone needs to keep the school rules. These rules have been put into place to keep everyone in the school community safe and cared for.
Your teacher and the kids in your class may work together to add some more special rules about how you will work together so that everyone in the classroom gets a ‘fair go'.
Maybe you talked about the values which are most important to you and what they would look like if they were being followed in your classroom.
- Cooperation is an important value
- Excellence (everyone trying hard to do their best in everything)
- Fairness (everyone having an equal chance and being treated the same)
- Integrity (which is about honesty in the way we act and speak)
- Respect (for ourselves, others and property)
- Responsibility (for ourselves, our belongings and our actions)
Spread the idea of cooperation
If you are a cooperative person then you may want to get involved in some kind of community service.
- Talk with your class and teacher about ways in which you could help others, e.g. maybe your class or a group of friends could ‘adopt' your local playground, beach or park and help your local Council keep it clean and safe for other kids to use.
- Talk with your youth group/sports group leader about ways in which your group might help, e.g. helping elderly people in your area by dog walking, shopping, putting out the garbage bins etc.
- Your family might decide to volunteer as a family group. If so, this website will give you some more information about volunteering and the kind of activities that you and your family may like to do to help others. http://www.govolunteer.com.au/
What some people say about cooperation
"A single arrow is easily broken but not ten in a bundle." old Japanese proverb.
"When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion." Ethiopian proverb
What kids say
- "When everyone is cooperating it is nice in the classroom because people are working together." Ethan
- "Cooperation can keep the world in balance." Max
- "I'm on SRC. I must cooperate so we can discuss all the topics and make things better for everyone." Lachlan
- "When anyone asks for help on the computer at home I'm there before they can finish saying 'Can you help me?'" Johnny
- "If dancers don't cooperate they will bang into each other and the dance will be ruined." Zoe
- "If you cooperate things get done faster and there is more time for fun!" Sophie
- A story from Lakshay
"A long, long time ago there was a troll who terrorised everyone. For many years he smashed villages and crushed trees. One day someone had an idea. He sent a message far and near, and soon a few people from every village came. They all went to the home of the troll and knocked loudly on the door.
The troll came roaring out but no one ran away. They told him to stop terrorising the people or they would make him stop. The troll was scared and fled. He was never seen again. This just goes to show what people can do when they cooperate.
|Cooperation can be fun|
When you see the result after it's done
Everyone needs to do their part
Whether it's chores or even Art
Don't mess around, you'll regret it if you do
Because everyone is counting on you.
Be a cooperative person all day
And finish your work before you play.
|Caring for people and their feelings|
Prepare your group's positions
Everyone is involved
Reasoning within the group
Allowing people to take part
Talking not shouting
Inspiring everyone to speak their minds
Not giving up on the team.
Dr Kim says
John Donne, a famous poet who lived from 1572-1631 wrote these words "No man is an island entire of itself". In other words all of us have to rely on others as we are all part of the human race. The more we learn to cooperate with each other the better our lives will be.
So, next time you are working in a team, remember to do your best - even if your task is not something you are really keen on doing.
The most famous people in the world are still part of a team of people who are all working together to achieve success.
You can find some fun activities/cooperation games for you and your friends to play if you click here http://www.youthwork-practice.com/games/cooperation-games.html
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.