How to work with coworkers when you are ranked against them

Listen on:

This summer has been a million degrees almost every day so there are a ton of motorcyclists on the road. Recently I noticed when they pass other motorcyclists, they stick one arm down and give each other a peace sign. Once I noticed this, I started seeing it all the time and secretly wish I was in the peace sign club. (Let’s be honest, the only peace sign club I’m getting into is the “I need a nap and am on day 3 of dry shampoo” club, but whatever.)

I looked it up (thanks Google) and learned it means keep the wheels on the ground, ride safe, and enjoy the day. It’s a friendly acknowledgement and little good will.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this as it relates to work.

Many people work at companies where they are ranked against their coworkers. Everyone knows it, yet everyone also knows that in order to be successful at your job you have to work together as a team. I’ve watched people throw coworkers under the bus to look like the better employee, but I’ve also seen employees support their coworkers and focus on the project and doing good work.

If we are all part of the ranking process, how is it that some people don’t worry about it and focus on doing a good job while others spend so much time managing up so leadership thinks they are better than others?

It all boils down to our thoughts.

Some people might think not being at the top is the worst thing that could happen and they might get fired so they work from fear and do things that are not always true to who they really are as a person. Other people might think it does not really matter because results speak for themselves and feel motivated and really own and deliver on their projects.

Either way, thoughts are optional. Some are easier to think than others, but you really can choose what thoughts to think.

Image how cool it would be if we were all part of the peace sign club at work and every time we passed a coworker, we gave them a peace sign meaning stand strong, you’re amazing, enjoy the day. I guarantee if you thought about your coworkers this way, it would totally change everything.

You don’t have to actually give them a peace sign if you don’t want but starting right now, every time you pass a coworker in the hall, look them in the eyes and think “stand strong, you’re amazing, enjoy the day” and leave a comment telling me how it goes. I promise you WON’T regret it.

Give it a try. Seriously! Want help applying this to your specific situation? Sign up for free coaching here.Many

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Hey, I’m Lindsay Lyman

I spent the last ~12 years growing my career at Amazon. I’ve built teams, launched new products, and created my own jobs. As a certified coach, I teach people how to manage the noise in their head to feel motivated and valued at work again.

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