Competition at work — Healthy or Dangerous?

We are competitive creatures. Some of us are more some are less. But competition is in our nature and that’s a fact. But happens when that competitive spirit crosses into the corporate environment? It can be broadcasted in two ways: extra productive or harmful the team collaboration for good. For that reason, it must be very carefully executed. When boosting competition spirit among team members this is what you need to keep in mind.

  1. Aim for cooperative competition — this refers to the members pushing one another to be more productive, effective and deliver great work. One thing that must be cleared at the beginning that all the team members work toward a common goal. It is confirmed that “Working together and helping each other can release brain chemicals that enhance motivation, pleasure, and bonding. The brain strongly desires these feel-good chemicals, and so the team is intrinsically motivated.” says Marilee B. Sprenger, author of The Leadership Brain for Dummies. This indicates the huge benefits that come from cooperative competition, from the team members involved to the results that the managers require.
  2. People are composed differently — different type of people require different type of working environment. For instance, people who are calm and introverts ought to be in a place that is more peaceful, harmonious, and quite to provide best results. Others require more risky and dynamic environment. Those are people who prefer high stakes and can handle pressure in performing their best work. Great leaders estimate and form teams according to the type of people they work with.
  3. Culture of fear — one of the most ignorant but highly significant reason for spreading a bad vibe among team members is fear. Due to the lack of trust that appears, influenced by the social norms and values, is a trig that can ruin the healthy competitive spirit among team members. That will fail to deliver outstanding results and will draw the business down. That’s why the ultimate thing to do at the beginning of the work is to settle the common goal and create a feeling that every team member belongs equally in the team and that is the core value.

So, is it beneficial or creates damage? Understanding the crucial difference between cooperative competition and competition that brings people down. Recognizing this is the one and only thing that is important when you need to make a decision about boosting the competitive spirit. You mustn’t create a conflict that will slow down the work or create dysfunctional relations for good. Use competition wisely! It’s better to reach out to experts that can give you an advice before starting cooperative competition.