Extend a Positive Attitude for 2009

I have started 2009 with the birth this blog, Cooperative Intelligence, a concept I have developed over the years. Many people suggested I use the words, “Collaborative Intelligence,” but that isn’t the intention or spirit I want to extend. Collaborative means that you are giving to get.  Cooperative means you are giving to give.  It is the process of developing your network by finding ways to help others.  Reciprocity is the engine of networks.  You are helped because you help others: no strings attached.  Instead of focusing on self-interest, you are seeking the common good.  I like the analogy that Donna Fisher shares in Power Networking that like a boomerang, the help we give comes back to us, though often in a roundabout way.

Most of us are good at learning the skills of our trade, but can be challenged to get our company’s managers to take action based on our findings. Cooperative intelligence integrates generous leadership, connection and communication, which helps anyone to “Listen and Be Heard.”  Cooperative intelligence plays a major role in positioning, earning and gaining respect.

As we start a new year, I will share a cooperative intelligence practice that will improve your positioning with your company’s leadership and co-workers. As an added bonus, you will also feel better about yourself.

 Maintain a Positive Attitude

I picked this cooperative intelligence practice in light of our current, turbulent economic times.  No matter how dour your current circumstances, you always have a choice about your attitude.

 A book that inspires this enthusiasm is The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Ben Zander. The Zanders share many ways to maintain a positive attitude. After all we invent our own perception of life and thus there is a universe of possibilities and choices.  I love the analogy they share of Michelangelo’s attitude as he viewed his sculpture projects, “Inside of each block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue.” Apply this positive attitude and vision to the relationships you develop in life!

Another Zander tip is to “Give an A,” even before it’s really earned. Give the other person a boost right at the outset of a relationship. This corresponds to a universal desire in people to contribute to others no matter how many barriers there are to its expression. Assume that people are good, fair and honest. Trust in the relationship. Such trust will be evident and felt by everyone since it’s infectious. Watch Ben Zander’s infectious possibilities and enthusiasm in this video.


In Whale Done, Ken Blanchard and his coauthors explain that people perform better when they accentuate the positive, catching people doing things RIGHT versus catching people doing things wrong. 

I hope these ideas help you get your new year off to a good start!

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