​​​Cooperative Understanding


An appreciative strengths-minded corporate culture values making what works work even better for everyone. It leads to cooperative understanding, where all employees work better together.


The traditional, problem-solving approach to work engenders a culture of fear where differences are perceived as workplace anomalies. This is and employees become afraid to identify their needs.  

DIFFERENCES ARE IMMATERIAL 

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Harmony at Work through Cooperative Understanding sets differences aside encouraging employees to respect each other’s roles on the job and acquaint themselves with one another while they focus on what is bringing them together in the first place, their [team] work. 

Employees feel comfortable identifying their functional needs in an environment with "Harmony at Work" through Cooperative Understanding, because it is understood that the organization empowers employees of all different abilities with the knowledge resources and tools to be at their best and perform work better together. Reasonable accommodation doesn’t exist, because all employees get what they need.

Organizations with “Harmony at Work” through Cooperative Understanding stop looking at work in terms of problems to solve, but as goals to achieve, and in turn, stop placing blame on others for what doesn’t work. It alleviates the fear and discomfort that many employees with disabilities suffer from when management perceives their impairments, at work, as problems to solve. 

 Stop solving-problems, and maintaining a flawed status quo that is poised to break down again, on a moment’s notice. Reframe problems into clear visions of the ideal future and strategically empower your employees of all different abilities to work better together and materialize that vision into reality. “Harmony at Work” through Cooperative Understanding will energize your workforce with a fresh, positive perspective, where everyone is acknowledged for the skills and abilities that they bring to work, not the differences that set them apart from those that they work with. The walls of prejudice subtly crumble down as employees find common ground to better acquaint themselves with one another. 

Accommodation becomes a method of empowering every employee to perform at their best, and employees of all different abilities feel comfortable, and safe, identifying who they are, and what they need, to be at their best, at work. It all but eliminates the perception of differences, directing everyone’s attention towards the common goals, and the contributions of everyone on the team to achieve those goals together. Empower your employees of all different abilities to achieve meaningful success with “Harmony at Work,” through Cooperative Understanding, and thrive in a corporate culture that continues to look towards the future and build on its current strengths to materialize the ideal future into the ideal reality.   ​

“Harmony at Work” through Cooperative Understanding promotes the cross-pollination of ideas, cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives, while empowering employees of all different abilities to achieve meaningful success. It brings about a strengths-minded corporate culture that appreciates and values all employees for what they contribute to the team, without scrutinizing how they perform their work. Achieving “Harmony at Work” through “Cooperative Understanding” is conducive to diversity, inclusion, productivity, and innovation by focusing on what works well and continuously building on those successes to make all aspects of the organization work even better for everyone.


This is exactly the kind of environment that, over 30 years of research proves, employees with disabilities thrive in, along with all other minority groups.


75% of all disabilities are invisible, or hidden. Managers, often, don’t realize that the reason why an employee is experiencing difficulty performing work may be because of a disability. Managers aren’t doctors. A supervisor’s first reaction to substandard work performance is usually oral admonishment. If it continues that can lead to a write up, then a suspension, and ultimately termination.


Employees with disabilities need to feel safe, and comfortable, if you want us to come forward and identify our disability status, along with any necessary request for reasonable accommodation. This reluctantly, and often begrudgingly happens in a deficit-based thinking, problem-solving corporate culture. Cultures keen on solving problems continuously hunt out weaknesses in the organization with the intent of eliminating them, for the greater good of the company. 


Disability is viewed as a performance anomaly in this kind of environment. Anomalies must be eliminated, or fixed. The progression of penalties approach has minimal effect, if any, on encouraging employees with disabilities to self-identify, and request accommodations as soon as they have difficulty performing work. They don’t always realize that they need any accommodation until after attempting to work through the difficulties themselves. The accommodation process, itself, can resemble an FBI interrogation, just to prove that the person does in fact have a legally defined impairment due to a medical condition, and that the requested accommodation will, in fact, successfully enable the employee to perform their job satisfactorily.


SPECIAL TREATMENT LEADS TO RESENTMENT

Once accommodated, other employees may resent and begrudge that employee, without even realizing that they have a disability. All they see is special treatment. You cannot share any employee’s disability information with anyone else, so your workforce may begin to resent the manager for treating one employee more privileged than others. “Harmony at Work,” through Cooperative Understanding teaches organizations how to accommodate every employee’s needs, and empower everyone to perform at their best, in collaboration with the team.  


THE POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE

"Harmony at work" through Cooperative Understanding developed out of the psychology of appreciative inquiry in response to the research that demonstrates how differences equal conflict, which is amplified by the standard diversity & inclusion approach. Rather than focusing on the inherent differences between persons with disabilities and those without, Cooperative Understanding focuses on the common goal, to accomplish work together, and the assets that each person brings to the team.