People relate in 4 primary ways: Combative, Competitive, Cooperative, Collaborative*. From nations to the office to the home, this captures the range of human relationship. It opens up a vast arena of thought and reflection concerning our own relationships. It’s a helpful way to analyze interpersonal conflict, marriage relationships, corporate structures, and communities. I’ve often puzzled over the way churches in a given community tend to find themselves vascillating between competitive and cooperative relationships.
Then there’s “collaboration.” It’s perhaps one of the most used, least understood words in our culture today. The word is on a fast-track to buzz-word status. What does it mean? Better yet, what does it require? Maybe we should approach it from this angle: What characterizes the best relationships? I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and ideas on this spectrum of human relations and more particularly on what collaboration is and is not. True collaboration characterizes the most productive, satisfying relationships on the planet. More on this to come.
I am indebted to one of my favorite modern day philosophers, Tom Morris, who first put me onto this framework via his book, If Aristotle Ran General Motors