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Can Ugly Competition At Work Kill the Office Environment?

May 16, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

This may be a strange post coming from me, especially because I am a big believer in a healthy dose of competition. In fact, I think it can improve your skills, increase your stamina, and motivate you to do better.

competition at work

But today I am wondering if healthy competition at work can turn ugly in the wrong work environment?

I ask because a (newly discovered) disgruntled coworker got competitive with me over something I had been handling pretty much independently. I have no trouble working with someone but it took me by surprise to see her hand in it (and not exactly in a nice way).

It reminded me a little bit of when I first started this job and I had trouble with my difficult coworker. I sort of got in her work territory a bit in order to compete for attention. Not to be mean, but mostly because I wasn’t getting recognized and to get that, I assumed I had to really be aggressive.

I’m seeing it play out again with this disgruntled coworker, even though I’m not nearly as critical towards others as my difficult coworker was with me (and continues to be with everyone else).

So, with difficult work environments where criticisms far outweigh the kudos, you generate a competitive atmosphere which leads to frayed and awkward work relations which results in zero comraderie between employees and creates an uptight, phony and possibly angry atmosphere.

And they wonder why we have such high turnover.


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