Take the Fight out of Your Employees
In his Harvard Business Review article “Learning Not to Compete,” author Ron Ashkenas argues that competition is no longer the only means of gaining success because the business world is so interconnected. The increasingly global aspect of companies means that everyone benefits when one group does well, though competition is still very much alive in many areas of business.
Ashkenas identifies two ways to get rid of competition within the workplace if competition has become a barrier to success for your organization:
- “Trade places with your competition” by starting a job rotation, setting up a project or through job shadowing for a couple of days. Ashkenas says experiencing a job from “the other side” helps you understand the person you’ve been competing against better and helps you get rid of those urges to “win against” your colleagues.
- “Facilitate discussion between competitors.” One of the easiest ways to get rid of a toxic competitive atmosphere in the lab is simply to talk things out. That way, both sides better understand each other's needs and issues and can develop a guide to help competitors be more successful. They can work with each other instead of against each other.
Although competition is important in many ways, sometimes it can be a major roadblock in the laboratory and other workplaces, but following these tips and getting to know your competitor can help you work together towards success.