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:
- 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 favorable light.
- 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.
- Reason. Explain that not working together cooperatively could mean lost opportunities. Most people are highly motivated to avoid a loss.