What we mean by co-operative skills is the skill-set you need to be able to co-operate effectively – i.e. work with others in a collective, non-hierarchical, democratically managed organisational structure.
Co-operative skills include:
- Communication skills (understanding the essential elements of communication, i.e. sending and receiving messages, and minimising ‘noise’)
- Meetings and decision-making skills
- Conflict management
- Understanding how to avoid potential conflict caused by poor governance or poorly planned growth.
It has been suggested that Emotional Intelligence is a necessary basis for the development of co-operative skills, and if we assume that what we mean by that is self-knowledge and self-awareness, reflection, empathy and social awareness, then common sense would suggest such attributes are indeed essential. Here’s a brief summary of current understanding of emotional intelligence, a look at some of the skills and how we can improve our own emotional intelligence.
Whether or not it’s possible to identify and measure emotional intelligence, some of the basic requirements for co-operative working – such as good communication skills and the ability to behave assertively (instead of being passive, aggressive or manipulative) require self-knowledge, social awareness and empathy.
It’s my belief that such skills are not innate, and can be learned – indeed if children were taught co-operative skills in the classroom they would be better equipped to help build the better world we all want to see.
The elements above are all described and explained in the various topic areas of the website – with games, exercises, and links to other websites and sources of information.