Ways To Manage Having a Competitive Coworker

What is a competitive coworker? A competitive coworker is an employee who focuses on outperforming their peers and ranking their work against others’. Rather than acknowledging the success of others, competitive coworkers feel threatened by other employees’ achievements and recognition.
  1. Don’t add fuel to their fire. Your co-worker is probably annoyingly competitive because they get a kick out of your emotional response. …
  2. Be direct that you don’t want to compete. …
  3. Don’t be afraid to talk to your manager. …
  4. Focus on yourself. …
  5. Consider their motive.

How to Handle a Competitive Coworker: 3 Tips

What is a competitive coworker?

An employee who prioritizes outperforming their coworkers and comparing their work to others is said to be competitive. Competitive coworkers feel threatened by other employees’ accomplishments and recognition rather than celebrating others’ success. They are driven by a desire to excel or take the lead.

Signs of a competitive coworker may include:

Ways to manage having a competitive coworker

Here are eight ways to address having a competitive coworker:

Be direct

Consider addressing your coworker about their behavior. Describe the impact it is having on the team’s morale and the working environment for both you and the team. Opening up lines of communication at work can help spot any misunderstandings or presumptions. A conversation with a coworker could make you aware of motives or vulnerabilities you were unaware of.

For instance, perhaps your coworker was accustomed to friendly teasing in a highly competitive environment. Or they are an older coworker worried about being replaced. Speaking to one another can aid in the expression of your feelings and desired outcomes. Discussing your concerns honestly and calmly can lead to solutions.

Instead of leveling accusations at your coworker, concentrate on how their actions make you feel. Say something like, “In the meeting, you claimed that I never sent you a status update, but you actually replied to the email I sent you a week ago. That made me feel undervalued. “.

Extend kindness

Be kind to a challenging coworker rather than competing in the office. When they perform well, congratulate them on their accomplishments and ask for assistance with a difficult assignment. Your coworker will recognize that you care more about everyone succeeding than you do about “winning.” Something like, “That was a great presentation, Joe,” might work. The graphics really helped me understand the figures better. You could also ask, “Would you mind helping me with the formatting for this marketing report? Your reports are always well-done. Ill add your name to it. “.

If none of these approaches are successful, simply smile and try to maintain your distance from your coworker.

Develop relationships

You can reach out to other coworkers to establish positive, work-related relationships if one is spreading negativity. Focus on several others who can improve your work environment through collaboration, encouragement, and accountability rather than a single person who may be unpleasant. Building strong relationships with peers may even encourage your coworker to act amiable and less combative.

You may inquire as to whether other staff members share your sentiments regarding a competitive coworker. If one person is causing disruptions to other employees’ work, that calls for a conversation with a supervisor. Use concrete examples to prevent rumors, such as “Hank took credit for the new wellness initiative, but that was actually a concept I suggested to him. Has he ever done anything like that to you?”.

Accept your colleague into your group if they reach out to you rather than excluding them. Employee productivity and happiness can increase in a positive, supportive environment.

Do your best

Maintain your attention on your own obligations, and use friendly competition as an incentive to produce excellent work and perhaps even advance or learn new skills. A constructive way to handle the situation is to use some workplace competition to motivate you to achieve personal goals. Think about enrolling in a course, attending a workshop, or earning a certification in your area of expertise. No matter who your coworkers are, it is always beneficial to improve your qualifications and resume.

Maintain your integrity

Control what you can control in the workplace. This means that while you cannot be held accountable for the actions of your coworkers, you are accountable for your own behavior. Employers in every industry value integrity, honesty and responsibility. Decide to conduct yourself honorably at all times, and that will help your reputation.

Avoid engaging with a competitive coworker. Be friendly and courteous instead, but don’t share any information about your work with anyone else to prevent competition.

Keep records

Keep any coworker emails, texts, or voicemails that exhibit a lack of professionalism. Report it, along with your supporting documentation, if your coworkers’ behavior becomes threatening. Your concerns will sound less like opinions when you keep track of the events and can be supported by facts and examples.

Speak to a manager

Consider speaking with your boss if confronting your coworker directly does not adequately resolve the situation. Be sincere and provide concrete examples to support your concerns. Instead of focusing on how you are being treated, try to think about how the behavior of the other employees is affecting your work and productivity. This increases the likelihood that your boss will address the problem rather than brush it off.

Making someone else aware of the situation also serves as official documentation of the incidents in case the situation worsens. Consider asking your boss to speak to the entire team or department about how to behave and communicate at your company in order to avoid singling out your coworker. This reminder could assist your coworker in comprehending the guidelines and standards at work.

Move on

Additionally, you might choose to ask to be transferred or relocated, particularly if your company has nearby offices. A competitive coworker should be removed from the same physical area as you to reduce tension and distractions.

If none of these strategies for handling a competitive coworker prove effective, think about looking for a new position that will value your professionalism and abilities.


How do you deal with an Oversteping coworker?

Talk About Overstepping Boundaries Be sure to be firm but polite in your approach, and use specific examples to help the coworker understand what you mean. If at all possible, speak with them about their transgression of the rules as they are actually doing it.

Is it unhealthy to compete with coworkers?

According to some studies, this kind of competition can inspire workers to work harder and produce results. Competition does indeed lead to a higher level of physiological and psychological activation, preparing the body and mind for greater effort and enhancing performance.

What does it mean to be competitive in the workplace?

A competitive workplace is typically characterized by a charged environment and evaluation criteria that use coworkers’ performances as benchmarks. The degree to which competition turns into a zero-sum game distinguishes between a healthy and unhealthy competitive work environment.

How do you tell if a coworker is jealous of you?

How to Tell If a Coworker Is Jealous of You
  1. They remark that your work is more interesting than theirs.
  2. They’re always “too busy” to help you. …
  3. When you receive praise from your boss or the leadership team, they make fun of you.
  4. When they arrange a virtual lunch or go out for happy hour, they don’t invite you.

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