Collaboration versus Competition – Which One is Better?

We’ve all heard about having the competitive edge. When it comes to business and the work being done in organizations, the competitive edge occurs when each individual is honing their own skills therefore enhancing the effectiveness of teamwork.

Collaboration is often referred to as the new competition. Shifting from a “Me to We” mentality. The problems faced tend to be more complex and one person alone can’t always come up with a solution. It is becoming more important to tap into the diversity of your people. They come from diverse backgrounds, have a wide variety of knowledge, skills, and abilities, and possess different strengths and experiences. Tapping into this rich resource can demonstrate how much more you can accomplish as a group versus what you can accomplish alone. When faced with challenges, you can use this as an opportunity to see things differently. Innovation emerges from the creativity of many people.

Collaboration is key as it allows everyone to have a voice and feel that their ideas are valued. When the focus is on one’s personal gain versus the collective outcome there can be division in the vision. Let’s say that two agents in the same company are focused on getting this sale of one client. The client may develop mistrust or even encounter are a negative experience because the focus between the two agents is on competition and they may seek to sabotage the efforts of each other. Competition should begin and end with you. It is the ability to push yourself to give your best.

Collaboration between team members is developed through connection and engagement. It is important to inform a network of support as you work together. Too many people scramble to develop a network in tough situations. Whereas in if you would have developed them along the way when you need it there readily available. When you work well together with other team members you naturally increase your team’s performance. The team starts to see themselves as part of the vision. When the team sees themselves as part of the vision, this is where true teamwork emerges. The people start to realize that the vision does not exist only at the top of the organization but within them.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller

Competition is natural and it may be natural that you may feel intimidated when faced with competition. This follows its Competition can lead to insecurity and uncertainty. When you focus on the competition, you can drain your energy. You may even start questioning yourself and doubting your abilities. What is worse is that you may start copying or patterning yourself to be much more like the competition then separating you from the competition and being unique. You end up being another flavour of the day. You may even hoard your talents instead of using them to benefit the vision of the team.

When people are competing, they will back away from responsibilities if they don’t believe it is their job. Whereas, in teamwork, people often jump in and do things without being asked.

The only good thing that I can see about competition is that can discourage complacency and push an individual to work harder. There can be friendly competitions within the team but they can be used to challenge members of the team so that they can learn from each other in collaboration. Instead of making incentives monetary-based, consider having team members focused on performance and productivity in the way of the number of follow-up phone calls completed, the number of gratitude cards sent out, the number of lead conversions, and the number of e-mails addressed or cleaned out of the inbox. Find ways to drive results and improved performance by working collaboratively.

The true competition should be you becoming a better version of yourself. At the end of the day, wouldn’t it be more effective to utilize and leverage the strengths of the people within your business or organization to make a difference, make a change, or increase your profit margin?

DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today!

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