Competition can definitely be a good thing, but what happens when it stops you from doing your job effectively? Being a woman with ambition is wonderful, but so is working well with others. You can certainly be both. Here’s 5 ways you can maneuver and combat workplace competition.

Don’t let competition cripple you from doing your job

Sometimes, competition in the workplace can be distracting, discouraging, and create tension in the office. There are some people who believe they should “fight dirty” in the workplace in order to prove they are the “best.” It can cause employees to stop focusing on what’s important and start focusing on showing up their colleagues. This can turn out to be both unproductive and beneficial. Make sure you’re focusing on what your tasks are and what your personal goals are.

Understand when competition is helping and when it is hurting

Some jobs require a little bit of competition. If you’re working on recruiting or sales, it may be good to have friendly competition in the office, but if you on the same team working towards the same goal, competition is harmful. Some jobs require everyone on the team to work together. When competition is present, it can cause employees to feel envious, jealous, or even resentful toward each other. When you share a common goal, it is important that each employee does their part in working towards that goal.

Learn how to let things roll off your shoulders

It’s hard to let things go, especially when someone you work with isn’t as friendly or welcoming as they should be. But, you should learn to let it go. It’s hard, but don’t let their comments and actions get to you. Instead, channel your inner Elle Woods and prove to these people that you are competent and an asset to the company. Instead of meeting competition with aggression, try showing these people compassion.

Try working WITH the competitive colleague

This can be hard, especially if you’re someone who is very prideful and stubborn, but it is important to try to work with the people on your team. Use the word “we” instead of “I” when talking about projects you both are working on. Approach them for advice on a certain project even if you don’t actually need it. This is a way to help stroke their ego while also showing them that you value their opinions. It can help form a friendship between the two of you instead of a competitive relationship.

Know when it is time to say something

If it gets too much to handle, it is important to know when you should bring things to their attention. In some cases, it may be important to bring things to the attention of your superiors. Try to reason with your colleague and let them know how you are feeling. If things don’t improve then it is time to take the problem to their superiors. Make sure you are professional, not critical, of your colleagues. Let your boss know that you have brought the issue to their attention and things still aren’t improving. No boss wants their employees to work in a hostile or uncomfortable environment. You can ask your boss for advice on how to deal with this competition and see how they recommend you move forward. Often times, your boss will know more about where your colleague is coming from and can offer great advice.

Stephanie F
FFL Cabinet Member