Have you ever had a colleague you considered competition and couldn’t stand? Did you notice him (or her) to be the most incompetent, under-qualified and unethical person you knew at work? Did you start finding his/her every manerism irritating? Did you eventually start considering this person your main enemy at work?
This is a common response to conflict, but to accomplish true leadership, you must take a totally different path.
Recognizing that colleagues may just be the allies is what you need to reach greater success. But first, what is the problem with perceiving your colleague as an enemy.
When you see your colleague as an enemy, due to personality clashes, you:
- Sever ties with reality, this diminishes your ability to exhert influence.
- Turn a person into a caricature, which can make you a caricature too.
Consider the experience of the COO of a global medical devices company, who excelled at her job. She easily became frustrated by the “incompetence” of coworkers, including the CFO. This led to her dismissing his abilities, she decided he was out of his league and held his position only because he fawned over other senior leaders, particularly the CEO. And soon enough she even disliked his voice, his ridiculous cufflink collection and his goatee.
Then they were seated together on a flight, forced to interact. That’s when she learned the reason for his apparent fawning over the CEO—he was concerned about the CEO’s credibility with investors and senior managers. By the time the plane landed, they were mapping out plans, and talking about collaborative projects.
Because of this, she realized that her aversion had caused her to miss out on chances to collaborate with a worthy colleague.
It’s recommended you look at the way you interact with colleagues. Do you recognize that these are real people? Do you consider the opportunities there are in becoming allies?
Article by Aruba Learning Junior Trainer, Bethsarim C. van Koetsveld-Brinez
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