What is cooperative communication?

Cooperative communication is a term coined by Robert Bacal in the 1990’s to describe communication techniques that tend to encourage people to work together, or cooperate (hence the name). The opposite of cooperative communication, he called confrontational communication.

After working with thousands of people in seminars related to defusing hostile people, Robert noticed that some people seemed to never get embroiled in unnecessary conflict, while others seem to be involved with conflict that was more frequent and intense.

He noticed that people who were relatively conflict free (and also people who tended to be successful in their lives and work), simply communicated differently with others. They used different words and did not use methods of communicating that tended to anger people.

With the help of a number of communication experts available online, he defined the differences between cooperative and confrontational communication, and identified very specific communication behaviors that fell within each category. The result was the book, Conflict Prevention In The Workplace – Using Cooperative Communication, which is a relatively non-theoretical, and practical guide to creating better relationships by changing how one communicates.


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