Given how much time we spend interacting with coworkers either in person or virtually, various relationship and dynamics are bound to emerge. Sometimes colleagues can become genuine friends; other times, those relationships can turn out to be toxic or manipulative.
Another common dynamic is the workplace rivalry. In a 2020 survey by ResumeLab, roughly 82 per cent of participants said they’ve experienced competition with a colleague.
And while we may think of rivalries as something negative, of the employees surveyed, nearly 70 per cent of those who’ve had a rival at work saw it as healthy competition. If you’ve found yourself with a workplace rival, here’s how to make the most of that relationship.
The benefits of a positive workplace rivalry
When it comes to rivalry between colleagues at work, it’s all about finding the right balance. On the one hand, friendly competition with a coworker can drive both employees to produce higher-quality work and motivate them to improve their job overall performance.
On the other hand, the rivalry may lead to bullying and hostile work environments. The key is getting to a place where the rivalry is mutually beneficial for yourself and your colleague.
Here are a few insights from the findings of the ResumeLab survey that can serve as strategies for fostering healthy competition at work:
- Engage with colleagues who are confident, hardworking, and intelligent
- Give and receive honest, constructive feedback
- Constantly set goals for yourself, but make sure they’re realistic
- Strive for open and ongoing communication, so everyone is on the same page
- Work to foster trust with your colleague
- You’ll get the most out of friendly workplace competition if your rival challenges you to learn new skills, improve your job performance, and be open to opportunities that come your way
You can find additional insights on workplace rivalries—both positive and negative—in this report from ResumeLab.
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