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COOPERATION CARD

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FOCUS

Positive: Solution-oriented communication

Negative: Blaming communication

Regardless of whether it is at work or in other relationships, we must cooperate. And regardless of where it is, it often becomes very important that we talk about what needs to be done, rather than who should have done what. 

Unfortunately, this is often what happens. When we depend on each other to solve a task, communication is directed towards who is responsible, or who is most to blame for the task not being successful. 

This creates action paralysis and conflict, and you end up spending more time defending yourself or avoiding blame than actually working   with the task. 

This form of communication has many consequences for performance in workplaces where interdisciplinary or cross-organizational collaboration is necessary to achieve goals. There are probably very few companies today that can renounce this need.

Tools for working with focus

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Examples of blaming communication:

At the pencil factory, a task has been forgotten and a customer has not received his goods. The customer threatens to complain to the ombudsman and the whole situation is very inflamed. Everyone seems to have an idea of where the error occurred, but no one agrees. Fingers are pointed in all directions. The customer ends up getting his goods, but the error appears again the following week, as no one has taken responsibility for anything.

 

A customer receives an order for 5,000 pencils, but no matter how easily you write, the tip always breaks. He complains to the manufacturer who does an investigation. It turns out that several of the employees knew about the problem, but they were all convinced that it was another department that had made the mistake, and since there was nothing wrong with what they were responsible for, it was not their responsibility to correct them.

 

Two departments in the pencil factory have agreed on an efficiency improvement that can provide a large saving. Soon after, frustrated voices are heard in the organization, which elaborates on how the new initiative could harm many people. Shortly after that, messages appear from both departments that it was not their idea originally, but the others.

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