Hi Julie, thanks so much for this.
In a competitive environment I would also add one more dynamic to the pot.
Sibling rivals, (at work, acting out this dynamic) strive to be the center of attention because from ages one through seven that is absolutely a child’s job. They need to let the world know they are there, they have something to contribute, and they are “special”.
As a manager you are the recipient of the good parent award if you act this out with them. But after that age of eight sharing glory is about growing up, and you are not their parent, you are a professional manager.
When a “queen bee” or” king kong” continues above that age, a good manager can presage what is to come. Some possible moves are:
- Separate the dueling duos into separate projects. Easiest.
- Send them to their room to work on their most glorious idea alone with the assignment they are not to discuss it with anyone but you. Best with self starters who don’t really need the applauding crowd, but who just act weird when in a group due to earlier dynamics.
- Team them with their most daring of rivals and make the accomplishment be about how well they are able to manage themselves emotionally in a competitive sphere and contribute to the project at hand. Do this only on a throw away task, if you think they have what it takes to gain self knowledge. Also great for balancing out female and male, young and old, etc. management team development, to see if they can share the spotlight and through the ball to each other. Most sophisticated move.
- Then tell them to report their accomplishment to their real parents and not you. (lol This you only do for yourself in your head of course, it will keep you clear of sibling debris flying about.)
Carol Hall PhD LAc works as a management consultant.