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5 tips on dealing with competitive colleagues

5 tips on dealing with competitive colleagues

Being assertive at work is undoubtedly a good thing. But some people take it too far and treat the workplace as a sort of race to see who the best worker is. This might escalate to them doing things such as taking credit for your work or even subtly bad-mouthing you to your boss. This, of course, can be super-stressful for their colleagues. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone… but how can we handle with workmates who are way too competitive?

 

1. Keep your focus

An overly-competitive coworker could draw your attention away from your job as you may pick up the challenge and try to out-perform him or her. This is counter-productive. Instead, make sure that your focus is on doing your job well. Rather than competing/winning, your goal should be to improve your own performance and strengths.

 

2. Have a chat

The whole situation may be a massive misunderstanding. Maybe it is just in the person’s nature to be competitive and he or she does not realise how he or she is coming across. Maybe the person in question is new to the company and is over-compensating for being the new guy/gal in town. You’ll never know unless you ask. Be firm and direct. Stick to the facts. It might be a good idea to have the talk outside the office, perhaps while grabbing a coffee elsewhere.

 

3. Talk to your boss or manager

The head honchos may not have an idea about what is happening, so it’s important to keep them in the loop. However, it is important to tread carefully as you may come across as being a bit of a snitch or trouble-maker. Don't get personal and don't whine. Make sure that you tell them that this situation is making the atmosphere unhealthy and that people are unhappy. And make sure you have some kind of proof to back up your claims, such as another witness or written evidence.

 

4. Don’t answer back

Make sure you’re always civil and respectful to him or her or you will be tainted with the same brush. Two wrongs do not make a right! It’s important that you don’t get drawn in to the toxicity.

 

5. Try to ‘convert’ them

If all else fails… make friends! Try to get them to start viewing you as a collaborator rather than as a than a rival. Ask for their advice and compliment them when credit is due. If this approach does not work, however, leave your co-worker alone as he or she is likely a lost cause.

 

Authored by the Finerton.com News Team (Malta) – August 2019
Images Sourced from Unsplash.com, Pixabay.com

Last modified on: August 27, 2019

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