Yes. Sure. Of course.
How many times each day do you say one of those words? It’s as if we’ve been programmed (because we have been) to be agreeable, to want to help. It’s one of the reasons that society works: Joe says yes and cooperates with Sally. Sally says yes and cooperates with Bob. And on and on.
But the reality is that sometimes it’s not in your personal or business interest to say yes. Instead, you need to say no even though your programming makes it difficult.
Your colleague wants you to take call for him next Saturday but you’ve already made plans. The hospital wants your medical group to hire the spouse of another group’s job candidate but you don’t need any more employees. You’re a pediatrician and you’ve been asked to give a presentation at a gerontology conference in Buffalo in January.
Yes, it’s important to cooperate. Some favors must be done, not only because of societal norms but in order to further your own interests as well.
No, cooperation isn’t supposed to result in subsuming your best interests to those of another all or most or even a significant percentage of the time. You need to conserve your energy and efforts to devote to the projects and interests, including doing nothing, that are most important to you.
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss