We actively compete with our coworkers for a limited amount of perks, including raises, promotions, bonuses, and recognition. But new research shows that, more often than not, people fall short in determining which coworkers might be trying to edge them out on the job.
“We looked at whether people understood what other people in the workplace thought of them,” says Hillary Anger Elfenbein, professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis. “You tend to know who likes you. But, for negative feelings, including competitiveness, people had no clue.”
“You need to pay more attention to what people do rather than what they say.”
Elfenbein and colleagues ran two different studies during the course of their research, recently published in the journal Psychological Science.
In the first, they surveyed salespeople at a Midwestern car dealership where competition was both normal and encouraged. The second study included surveys from more than 200 undergraduate students in 56 separate project groups. All were asked similar questions about their coworkers, and what they assumed those people thought of them. When the responses about competition were analyzed, the results were striking: While there were outliers, they completely canceled out.
In other words, coworkers have no clue about their competitive cohorts.
“Some people show their competitiveness, some people you can tell have it out for you, but others have it out for you and act like they’re your close friend,” Elfenbein says. “Those two effects wash out, and people on average have zero idea about who feels competitively toward them.”
The researchers offer two main reasons for the disconnect: First, people tend to mask outward feelings of competitiveness toward others in an effort to be polite. Also, the concept of reciprocity played a role.
“For liking, reciprocation is a good thing,” Elfenbein says. “You keep dates, you give gifts, you have shared, positive experiences. But to get the benefits of competition, such as promotions or perks, you don’t need it to be reciprocated. And when you don’t get that feeling back, it’s hard to gauge who’s truly competing against you.”
For a manager in the workplace who wants a strong and cohesive team, transparency and uncrossable lines appear to be the key in maintaining the balance, the researchers say.
“You want to promote a climate where there is friendly competition,” Elfenbein says. “At the car dealership, everybody knows they are competing against each other. Entire salaries can be based on performance. But if you create a climate where there are boundaries you don’t cross, you can make space for mutual healthy competition to be rewarded.”
As for the individual in the workplace who fears being blindsided by coworkers?
“You need to pay more attention to what people do rather than what they say,” Elfenbein says. “When people are too polite to say something to your face, you need a good, strong network that will let you know what other people really think.”
Coauthors of the study are Noah Eisenkraft from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Shirli Kopelman from the University of Michigan.
- Emotional intelligence test
- Self awareness
- strategies to increase emotional intelligence
- self management
- social awareness
Brand: Bradberry, Travis/ Greaves, Jean/ Lencioni, Patrick (FRW)/ DeLazaro, Sue (CON)/ Monday, Melissa, Ph.
- Patrick M. Lencioni
By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:
3) Social Awareness
4) Relationship Management
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a book with a single purpose—increasing your EQ. Here’s what people are saying about it:
“Emotional Intelligence 2.0 succinctly explains how to deal with emotions creatively and employ our intelligence in a beneficial way.”
—The Dalai Lama
“A fast read with compelling anecdotes and good context in which to understand and improve.”
"Gives abundant, practical findings and insights with emphasis on how to develop EQ. Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ."
--Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
"This book can drastically change the way you think about success...read it twice."
--Patrick Lencioni, author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
- Northfield Publishing
Brand: Moody Publishing
Studio: Northfield Publishing
Label: Northfield Publishing
Publisher: Northfield Publishing
Manufacturer: Northfield Publishing
Based on the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages®(over 12 million copies sold),
Dramatically improve workplace relationships simply by learning your coworkers’ language of appreciation.
This book will give you the tools to improve staff morale, create a more positive workplace, and increase employee engagement. How? By teaching you to effectively communicate authentic appreciation and encouragement to employees, co-workers, and leaders. Most relational problems in organizations flow from this question: do people feel appreciated? This book will help you answer “Yes!”
A bestseller—having sold over 300,000 copies and translated into 16 languages—this book has proven to be effective and valuable in diverse settings. Its principles about human behavior have helped businesses, non-profits, hospitals, schools, government agencies, and organizations with remote workers.
PLUS! Each book contains a free access code for taking the online Motivating By Appreciation (MBA) Inventory (does not apply to purchases of used books). The assessment identifies a person’s preferred languages of appreciation to help you apply the book. When supervisors and colleagues understand their coworkers’ primary and secondary languages, as well as the specific actions they desire, they can effectively communicate authentic appreciation, thus creating healthy work relationships and raising the level of performance across an entire team or organization.
Take your team to the next level by applying The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.
- Grand Central Publishing
Brand: Grand Central Publishing
Studio: Grand Central Publishing
Label: Grand Central Publishing
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Manufacturer: Grand Central Publishing
"A must-read for every leader in their field." - Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of To Sell is Human
Incivility is silently chipping away at people, organizations, and our economy. Slights, insensitivities, and rude behaviors can cut deeply. Moreover, incivility hijacks focus. Even if people want to perform well, they can't. Customers too are less likely to buy from a company with an employee who is perceived as rude. Ultimately, incivility cuts the bottom line.