Volume 1, Issue 2 February 2002
THE COOPERATIVE ACTION MODEL
Over the last few years I have been developing and sharing my new Cooperative Action Model with you in the old hand mailed Caravan. Seeing that this new Caravan is reaching a far greater readership, I thought it might be prudent to outline the model for those who just came on board. It will also be a good refresher for those who have been with The Caravan from the beginning.
The model is based on The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In order to keep the model simple and easily portable, I came up with six laws of behavior. I call these The Cooperative Action Tenets. By following these tenets, you will be able to be in total control of your journey without adversely affecting anyone else. The key here is that you look after the way you act and react, keeping in mind that you cannot and should not change the way others act. Let’s look at the tenets
THE COOPERATIVE ACTION TENETS
- The individual is celebrated as the foundation of all relationships.
- All individuals should be allowed to do anything they want, as long as they don’t knowingly adversely affect the planet or anyone on it.
- All Relationships are based on constant negotiation of boundaries by using respectful, honest and direct communication in order to bring a clear understanding to all our interactions.
- Each person involved in a relationship should always be looking for a balance and equilibrium in order to create a Cooperative Action without losing a sense of self.
- No one person in a relationship has power or ownership over any other person, or persons, in the relationship. There must be a sense of mutual trust and respect.
- Not all relationships are meant to be. One person’s views and boundaries may not be compatible with another. This is when we understand that “acceptance is not necessarily agreement,” and (where necessary) it may be time to walk away.
I hope you can see how simple this concept is. Remember the famous Hockey Dad Fight that resulted in one father dead and the other in jail for six to ten years. I will show you how understanding and using the model could have avoided this unfortunate situation.
Keeping in mind that you can only control your behavior, let us recreate the events (as closely as I can recall them) and see how I would have acted using the model.
My son is playing hockey and I go to the arena to pick him up. Upon arriving, I notice some pretty rough play, more excessive than I would like. I respectfully approach the coach and explain my concern (tenet #3). He says that he doesn’t care what I think and that hockey is a rough sport and I should mind my own business. Of course he is more graphic in his reply than I can be in this newsletter. He has violated tenet #2 and possibly #5 as well.
I tell him that he has a right to his opinion, but I cannot subject my son to such violence and that I will be reporting him (the coach) to the league (tenet #3).
He gets louder and angrier. He begins to move toward me in an aggressive manner, waiving his hockey stick in my face. Obviously angry and out of control, I want to avoid conflict (tenet #4), so I tell him that I don’t want any trouble. I collect my son and walk away (tenet #6).
As a person who follows The Cooperative Action Model, I will not knowingly adversely affect any other person (tenet #2). I will tell someone how I feel (tenet #3) with respect and I will walk away (tenet #6) if the situation becomes toxic.
My belief is that if the model was used as I did, there would have been no fight and hence two families would not have been so horribly affected.
If you have any comments or questions about The Cooperative Action Model, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include them in subsequent CARAVANS. Let me know if you want your name used or not.
Best In Life...
is OK to be assertive, but it is not OK to be aggressive.”
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