Cooperation versus competition at work

authenticity instead of performance

Cooperation is healthier then fierce competition


Fiercely competitive behavior can be destructive, however cooperation is always wholesome. We need to find ways to foster cooperation instead of fierce competition.

Performance reviews can be truthful and compassionate

Some performance based reviews are necessary, as all of us have areas we may need to work on. However the valuation of performance needs to be compassionate and considerate of individual strengths or limitations. Reviews can be guidance with  nonjudgment, attempting to enhance what that individual can offer. Also, instead of being rigidly work performance based, there could be inclusion of the other areas in which workers can add value. For instance their ability to be cooperative with others, their ability to work well with colleagues,  or their ability to be vulnerable. 

As we notice and accept our fears, unwholesome behavior lessens

We all experience fear. In the work place it is usually fear of failure, fear of not being good enough or fear of losing the job . If we do not acknowledge these very human and normal fears with acceptance we will be controlled by them. Suppressed fear can drive unhelpful behavior such as; being fiercely competitive with others, wanting to bring others down or treating our coworkers badly while sucking up to the boss.
The way to move beyond this behavior is simply to honestly acknowledge it in ourselves, in a very nonjudgmental way. Also to see the fear that lies beneath it. Once we  truly acknowledge something it will not control us. We can then choose a more cooperative approach.

Cooperation makes us far more likely to succeed and enjoy work

Cooperation makes us far more likely to succeed. None of us is good at everything and the help of others is always valuable. Likewise they can be helped by us.
If we choose to do our best at work and cooperate. We are far more likely to succeed in a wholesome, happy and long term way than if we get caught up in competitiveness.

It’s important to get on well with our coworkers and be supportive.

Many people feel that the only way to succeed is to bring others down around them. Sadly even our politicians do this.
It may feel good for the ego for five minutes if we bring a colleague down on our way forward. However it will not feel good in the long term. We will alienate our coworkers, no one will enjoy working with us and we ruin our chances of helpful support and cooperation. If we do not support colleagues but suck up to the boss we may progress short term. However this situation does not create happiness.
It is far better just to do our best and work cooperatively with people. We have a very good chance of success in the long run and we will be happy.

It is healthy to be good at promoting ourselves and standing up for ourselves

Of course sometimes we may succeed more than others, that is Ok we are meant to put our best foot forward. It is healthy and OK to be good at promoting ourselves or standing up for ourselves firmly and fairly. Cooperation with others can also help. The way forward can always be done in a wholesome manner we do not ever have to deliberately bring others down.
The science of quantum physics is telling us that we are all connected. It is therefore true that what we do to others we do to ourselves. It follows then that there is great wisdom in treating others with kindness and cooperation.

Vulnerability helps in the workplace

It may seem very alien to many of you that a willingness to be vulnerable can help us in the workplace. However it definitely can. I will list many helpful aspects of being vulnerable.
  • Vulnerability may include a willingness to acknowledge our issues, those things that we may need to work on in the work place. This means that if we have a performance appraisal, we are willing to listen and learn from it. Instead of being defensive and not learning.
  • Vulnerability may include being honest with ourselves about our challenging emotions. For example if we acknowledge our  work related fears nonjudgmentally we will be able to move beyond them. or we may have challenging emotion about a family or external issue. It is far healthier to be able to acknowledge these and get help. A willingness to talk to trusted colleagues deepens friendships and creates valuable support.
  • Vulnerability may also include a willingness to admit we don’t know something or need to work on something. If we can admit this then we can use our strengths well and call support in for those things that are not our strong point. This has far more likelihood of creating overall success.
  • Vulnerability may also include a willingness not to be right. When we can admit our mistakes nonjudgmentally and quickly we will be able to learn from them and move on. Again increasing our chances of success.
  • Vulnerability may also involve a willingness to face fear and push ourselves forward. Perhaps take on something that is new or challenging even if it is a little scary. Also to be willing to believe in ourselves and promote what we are capable of.
Vulnerability definitely has advantages in the workplace.

The opportunity at work is; to accept our fears, to be willing to work cooperatively, to believe in ourselves, to treat others with respect and to embrace vulnerability. What a wonderful way to move forward.


Read more on integrating spirituality into life

Scroll to Top