Society sets us up to believe the old adage: to be successful and get ahead in our career we must be competitive and win at all costs.
Many people take this need to be competitive and ‘win’ in their career, to the point of bad-mouthing others, treating others like crap, and even engaging in bullying or harassment tactics to get ahead in their own career.
Sometimes you may observe or hear self-sufficient competitive behaviours like the following:
➡ the person may stand in your personal space with the intention to intimidate; they may pass sarcastic comments; or humiliate people publicly with so-called ‘jokes’.
And apparently, if we really want to ‘make it big’ we must take our self-sufficient competitive edge to a whole new level and be the one who wins, all the time, no matter what! Because after all, the winner gets the biggest reward, the best position, the biggest paycheck, the highest title. Right?
The self-sufficient competitive approach does not cultivate a win-win-win situation. This competitive approach will not propel you to achieve at the highest level and accomplish true, long-lasting greatness or fulfilment in your life and career. This belligerent self-sufficient competitive approach, will do nothing but damage your long-term career and destroy your connections.
We cannot do anything at a level of ‘true greatness’ on our own. We must collaborate. We cannot accomplish true greatness in any aspect of our career, solely on our own. We must formulate a connected team around us.
We cannot be in STEM on our own: as an academic we must have students, and as a researcher we must have a team to accomplish anything (including RA’s, administration, fellow colleagues and also the folks who help out with statistics or technology… the list goes on). We are not a Leader without fellow teammates. Whatever your role is within the hierarchy, we need fellow teammates. As professionals, CEOs, or executives, we all need teammates/colleagues/co-workers to work with and create magnificence with, moving forward together.
To be honest, holding on to the notion of self-sufficient competition to truly get ahead in your career and have a long-term positive impact, is an absolute delusion. A myth.
We achieve nothing worthwhile on our own!
Now more than ever, to have a long-lasting, sustainable, truly great impactful career and life, and positively impact those around you and the people you do your job for, it is essential for every team member to embrace connective communication.
Now, this form of communication is more than just accessing real-time interaction and it is so much more than just sharing ideas and information with others. This mode of communication includes many aspects, ranging from our awareness of our own message delivery to noticing the receivers’ responses and reactions, to being fully present in the environment we are located in, to tapping into the current emotional state of all involved. At the same time, remaining non-judgemental, transparent and genuine at the moment. Leading Authentically!
When we truly connect with others, we have the opportunity to amplify everyone’s capabilities to such an extreme level that we all become a massive force for good!
Connected communication will always cultivate the uplifting result of being more, doing more and having more.
How can I take my connective communication to the next level?
1. Be Interested, not just interesting. When you focus on only being interesting, you are just focussing on yourself, what you desire for others to see in you. Be interested in others. Be present with people, and show that you care about them by listening. Take a genuine interest in them, their lives, their work, and engage in thoughtful questions. Allow yourself to be absorbed at the moment with that person.
2. Find common ground. We too often look for a difference, to be different, to show off, or think that being different will somehow gain us points. However, the most impactful communication is when we find common ground. The proviso here is not to find a complaint as your common ground. Common ground is not about complaining it’s around creating forward momentum. Communicating from a common understanding creates a meaningful conversation. Be curious, even when you disagree, you can still find common ground if you look. Be open and respectful to open up the conversation.
3. Body language. When you’re in sync with someone, you unconsciously mirror and match body language. This is not about copying the other person, that’s just weird. Mirroring and matching happen when there is a true genuine connection at the moment. Remember as human beings we like others who are like us. Mirroring and matching demonstrate a connection. This may be a mirroring of posture, gesture, energy, emotions and even words that are used.
To cultivate a truly great, long-lasting career that serves us AND those around us, it is essential we consistently implement connective communication in all our interactions.