A number of my clients are just plain scared. They see the results of a decelerating world economy 20 x a day. The news is bleak .My clients understandably react by wanting to hunker down and do less. Or they become agitated and aggressive and want to blame and fight. These behaviors will probably not produce the results they seek.
A more successful story comes from social scientist Robert Axelrod, who developed a game called “The Prisoner’s Dilemma Game. Players are asked to make a simple choice to cooperate or compete with each other. One might think that relentless competition would win the day but in fact the most successful strategy is called tit-for-tat. Here the first player opens with a cooperative move. If the second player competes the first player punishes with a competitive move of her own. However if the second player switches back to cooperation so does the first player. After having tens of thousands of people play the game Axelrod concludes that cooperation or “tit for tat” wins more money for both players than competitive self-interest.
In these tough times aggressive or hunker in the bunker behavior will not lead to greater success. What works is communicating and connecting with more people. Reach out to competitors and friends alike. Listen to their problems and weave stories of mutual cooperation.