Teamwork Collaboration: Leadership Beliefs That Kill It #peopleskills

Teamwork Collaboration: Leaders, Is Your Competitive Spirit Killing It?

Teamwork Collaboration Killers: Image is large foot stepping on a person.

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Business owners and leaders hold a competitive spirit in high regard. They often have it and hire for it. They say, “without a competitive spirit how would a business succeed, right?” Not necessarily.

Today’s business environment also requires tremendous teamwork collaboration. Innovation needs it. Sales needs it. Superior customer experience needs it. Project completion needs it. In truth, teamwork collaboration is absolutely essential for business success.

It doesn’t have to.

Teamwork Collaboration: Check Your Competitive Beliefs!

Leaders, what are your competitive beliefs doing to your teams’ interaction and collaboration? It’s an important question. Attitude and beliefs drive your behavior and the culture of your organization.

  1. Do you equate collaboration with weakness, laziness, even failure? Your initial answer may be no! Do your actions prove that out? Do you truly value, respect, and elevate high collaborators?

    Do you see collaborators as leaders who can build that culture? Or do you place them under competitive employees? Whom do you promote to a higher position? Great collaborators or individualists with a competitive spirit?

  2. Do you believe collaborators need coddling? In a recent chat, one leader proclaimed he doesn’t have time to coddle people. He prefers competitive types. Coddle?

    True collaborators are not super sensitive people who demand constant support. They are talented employees who know how to initiate ideas and work with others to reach a collective result. If you believe you must coddle collaborators, you may kill teamwork collaboration.

  3. Do you believe that progress stagnates without rivalry and competition? Some people need rivalry to work hard. Yet, natural collaborators find it a huge turnoff. To them it’s distracting. They are already motivated to work hard with others. Rivalry is the antithesis of this.

  4. Do you think that competition builds strength, confidence and backbones? Not in everyone. Many collaborators are motivated through synergy of talents not contests of conquering. Moreover, natural collaborators are not spineless weak adults who lack confidence. They are strong enough to have their own voice and honor others’ as well.

    Leaders, how are your team members motivated? Through competition or collaboration? If you are leading with a competitive philosophy because it’s comfortable for you, you may be killing teamwork collaboration.

How well do you understand the collaborative mind?

Leaders inspire teamwork collaboration when they …

  • Know their teams members and what inspires them. “Celebrate those who compete, celebrate those who collaborate. An ocean refuses no river.” ~@AJManik

  • Recognize when competition is creating a deadlock and help team members see why it’s happening. This is important when you have competitors and collaborators on the same team.

  • Overcome the myth that collaboration is everyone thinking the same thing. It isn’t. It’s diverse views without the mindset of who’s right/wrong and who’s going to win. Help team members learn to disagree with respect, to reach collaborative results.

  • Remember that initiative is different from competition. Initiative and a can-do attitude are always valuable. They keep the business moving toward success. Yet, competition sometimes kills much needed teamwork collaboration.

  • Address domineering non-collaborators even if they are great individual performers. If you justify their behavior with their results you undermine teamwork collaboration.

What progress truly requires is initiative, can-do attitudes, critical thinking, innovation, and great execution. You can find this in both natural competitors AND collaborators. Know who you are leading and inspire them to great heights!

Competitor or collaborator – Which do you think makes a better leader?

Which do you prefer as a leader?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Book Keynotes:
GPS Your Brain to Work w/ Any Personality Type
Leaders, Be a Buoy of Inspiration & Balance

More Blog Posts on Related Topics:
Are You an Annoying Maverick or a Welcome Initiator?
Teamwork Collaboration: Do You Welcome People In or Push Them Out?

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



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One Response to “Teamwork Collaboration: Leadership Beliefs That Kill It #peopleskills”

  1. Hi Kate,

    Is it possible to like working with someone who has a competitive nature, but really values collaboration. I think it’s critical to value collaboration facing inwardly and then be competitive facing outward toward the market. A little friendly competition between teams is great to drive performance, but the minute it drives people to take their eye away from the main a game, the collective goal, and to act in a self interest regardless of the impact on the collective goal, then I think competition can do a lot of damage.
    Enjoyed the post thanks.

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