Coworkers: Camaraderie or Competition?

August 23, 2016

Career Advice

4728804791_7a30683883_zRyan Lochte is the second most decorated Olympic swimmer and the fourth most decorated Olympian of all time. But there’s a certain buddy of his who’s overshadowed those achievements…and he goes by the name of Michael Phelps. Sure, Phelps blows every other swimmer out of the water. But Phelps has admitted in post-race interviews that Lochte pushes him to perform better during each and every race. The two swimmers have even competed together on the same gold-medal winning team in relay events. So, the question begs to be asked: what’s better? Camaraderie or competition?

There’s no doubt that a little friendly competition can push two people to new levels. Healthy competition motivates you to do your best and may be just the change of pace you need, especially if you were feeling a bit too comfortable in your current position. Here’s where the competition can turn nasty: the outcome, and your reaction to it.

For example, if two people pursue a promotion the outcome is inevitable. Someone will get what they want and someone won’t. But both people need to accept the outcome with grace. Being a graceful winner is just as important as being a graceful “loser.” Step one: congratulate the other person immediately. If you came out on top, don’t gloat. Then think about the situation from a larger perspective: is this really a life or death outcome? Probably not.

Everyone’s career ebbs and flows on different schedules, within different positions, and at different companies. There are plenty of opportunities out there for everyone. And remember: there’s nothing wrong with a silver or bronze medal.

Image via Flickr/ellyn.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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