Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Three tips to turn work adversaries into allies

Jupiterimages/(C) 2007 Jupiterimages

Anyone who has faced a rival at work knows how catastrophic such a dynamic can be, but there are ways to flip the situation to your advantage, says Harvard Business Review.

Anyone who has faced rivals at work – bosses who take all the credit, team members who undermine things – knows how difficult it is to ignore them.

Instead, turn your adversaries into collaborators by following these three steps:

Story continues below advertisement

1. Redirect.

Try to channel your rival's negative emotions away from you by bringing up something you have in common, or talking about the source of the tension in a favourable light.

2. Reciprocate.

Give up something of value to your rival – help complete a project or divulge important information – so you are poised to ask for something in return.

3. Reason.

Explain that not working together co-operatively could mean lost opportunities. Most people are highly motivated to avoid a loss.

Today's management tip was adapted from Make Your Enemies Your Allies by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap.

Story continues below advertisement


Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.