Competing with colleagues at work is not always pleasant, but there are certain ways to deal with competition that will make it bearable. No matter how well you get along with colleagues, competing often causes tension in the workplace, which in turn affects the workflow. If you’re uncomfortable with the situation, you may want to look into these ways to deal with competition at work.
1. Be Aware of It
Ignoring it is not one of the ways to deal with competition, so it’s important to be aware of what's going on. Determine which colleagues you consider as your competition, but also watch out for those who cannot handle competition very well. These people tend to play dirty games to come out on top, but these dirty games are easily overlooked if you don’t pay attention to them.
2. Accept It
There is no point in complaining about the competition at work; it occurs in almost every workplace. Accept its presence and your working days will be much more pleasant. See it as part of the job - yes, even those colleagues who play dirty games. You will find these types of people everywhere, and so running away from them is pointless.
3. Compare Yourself
Comparing yourself to others isn’t always a good thing to do, but it can be helpful to a certain extent. Once you’ve identified the competition, you can compare your skills with theirs. Your colleague may show weaknesses that you don’t have, and you may also identify your own weaknesses once you see your colleague’s strengths. See where you have the advantage and identify where you can learn.
4. Get a Mentor
Having a mentor or role model at work is crucial to growth. It can be your team manager or someone else in a higher position. Ask if this person has time to meet with you every once in a while to go through your goals that may be set by your mentor or by yourself. The key is to keep your relationship with your mentor behind the scenes, as you don’t want others to know that you’re putting additional effort in developing your skills.
5. Always Be Friendly
Always maintain a good relationship with your competition and remain friendly and helpful to a certain level. This will improve your relationships with them. Also, never speak to them about the competition between the two of you and pretend it's not there, if possible. No good things will happen if you play it nasty.
6. Connect with Others
One major mistake that many people make in the workplace is to hang out only with those who you directly work with. It’s important to also connect with those working in other departments, no matter their position or expertise. Not only will this make work more fun, as you can connect with them without having to worry about competing, but they might be able to help you out in the future, by perhaps offering you a position in their department.
7. Be the Best You Can Be
Don’t ever let your competition affect your performance. The most important thing is to be the best you can be by keeping up the good work. Know what you’re working towards and focus on that, while keeping an eye on the competition. There should be a balance and you must never be blurred by competition in the workplace.
Some enjoy the competition at work, while others detest it. Whichever team you’re on, it’s important to find a healthy balance to get where you want to be in years from now. Of course, there’s also the opportunity to look for a job where competition is less present, and this might be liberating to some. How do you handle competition in the workplace?