Compassionate competition seems like an odd pairing of terms. To a lot of people the word competition can seem ugly and hold a negative connotation. When we think of the word competition, we think professional sports, “Survivor” the reality show, or ‘others’ on the dating scene. In business it can be the younger generation entering the workforce who may just beat us out for the next big promotion. But in reality competition can be what empowers us to be more than just a survivor. It can be the reason we flourish and succeed. We can amp up the level we achieve by embracing compassion within our actions during times of competition.
Compassion is not just for the strong, educated or well read. It is for everyone. Our success can be easier when it is not built upon on the shoulders of those we pass over. But built on our supportive interactions with our competitors. By encouraging them to do more, be better and go for the gold, we in turn become stronger. When you look towards wanting a more successful professional life, you normally envision yourself climbing the Corporate Ladder. This may require you to “put up” with certain elements in the work environment to get to the next rung.
As I’ve mentioned in past articles such as “Business Edge – What’s Yours?” There are many things you can do to ensure you have an edge. But we encounter competition in many different areas of our lives. It is important to understand how you embrace your competitor in one sector will reinforce how you interact in another.
Being compassionate is important on a human level. How we treat others provides an opportunity to empower both sides to live better. But how does being compassionate with your competitors really support your success? Compassion turns your competitors into your advocates. Period. End of story. Good-bye. Au revoir.
When you have advocates supporting you along the way you are encouraged to take that leap of faith. To move out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself even more. We all need supporters, sponsors and activists. When we are compassionate with our competitors they begin to view us differently. They begin to become part of our support network. Competition is good. We all need competition in our lives. But when we are seeking to advance in our careers we also need as many supporters and believers. These individuals keep us accountable and in action as much as possible.
Now obviously not every ‘competitor’ will become an advocate. But you still want to be compassionate with them during your interactions. The reason is if they ‘beat’ you, you want to set the example for others following. Knowing how to lose gracefully is a skill not everyone possesses which gives you an edge later. You also need to consider those that do win potentially will become your promoter the next time there is an opportunity. They begin to refer to you as a ‘fair’ individual, a team player. This receives serious bonus points for management and leadership when considering candidates.
When your reputation in business is a positive one then it will positively impact your personal life. People talk, people share and well, people love a good story. When you are compassionate in the work place (even as an entrepreneur) then people get to know you as “one of the good people.” And that carries weight within your peers. Your peers are who you potentially hang out with outside of work. They begin to refer to you as a friend instead of a work associate. As a friend, the level of trust people have with you improves. You begin to see an increase in peer respect. Is all of this beginning to sound familiar? I hope so.
What happens in our personal lives impacts our professional lives and vice versa. Being a compassionate competitor empowers you to not only ‘survive’ reality but to thrive. When we are thriving, we are easily able to stay in action. Move quickly towards the goals we set for ourselves while leaving a positive impact on society. And yes, all of this adds up to climbing the ladder of success and reaching our aspirations that much sooner.
The next time you view a person as a competitor in life. Whether it be personal or professional. Ask yourself how you can support them to be successful without the expectation of return. Initially you will fight this approach. But eventually when you quiet your ego enough to let your heart lead then you will notice how more doors of opportunity begin appearing for you. It will be at this point, at this shift of perspective that you are no longer ‘surviving reality’ but ‘creatively thriving.’