Tips for dealing with competitive women

Posted on December 7, 2010


competivie woman


Another great session from the The Successful You 2010 Women’s Leadership Forum was “Competitve Women at Work: From Fighting to Uniting.”
Bestselling authors, Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, provided insights and practical advice for dealing with common types of competitive behavior.


Their advice on dealing with the main types of competitive behavior:

1. Gossip.
DETECT – Very chatty, freely shares spicey information about others, source of rumors.

FIGHT the temptation – to join in the gossip; gossip about the gossiper, report the gossip, confront the gossip.

UNITE – Take the high road; focus on keeping the relationship professional and friendly; express disinterest in gossip.

2. Saboteur.
DETECT – Cuts you down behind your back; overly solicitous about your skills, works hard to gain your trust. Someone in your inner circle alerts you to her actions.

FIGHT the temptation to – Badmouth saboteur to others; confront the saboteur.

UNITE – The best solution is harm reduction. Wage a huge PR campaign for yourself. Insert yourself into meetings so you can correct misconceptions that have been spread by the saboteur. Enlist a sponsor

3. Pedestal smasher.
DETECT – Very polished and has reached high levels in an organization; very respected. Keeps telling you, “you’re the answer to all my problems.” Then she begins to find fault with you and soon you can’t do anything right. These types of people are very insecure.

FIGHT the temptation to – Work harder and harder to get back onto that pedestal; complain that you can’t do anything right; compete with others to win back her approval.

UNITE – Stop seeking the pedestal smasher’s approval. Focus on doing your job to the very best of your abilities. Seek a cordial and professional relationship. You ‘ll notice that the smasher will soon move on to another victim.

4. Easily threatened.
DETECT – Has an adverse reaction to any good news; cuts you down; can’t compliment you on anything.

FIGHT the temptation to – Fight back or confront her.

UNITE – Accept that she can’t suppport you. Share credit for your accomplishments, if appropriate. Focus on sincerely complimenting her. Be less threatening.

Final words of advice:

Don’t take it personally
Don’t get caught up in a power struggle
Always aim for the high road approach
Be gracious.