4 Reasons You Should Be Collaborating With Your Competition

Photo Credit: John Hult

When more than one individual strives for a common goal, it’s only natural that some level of competition will ensue. And while it may not be the most diplomatic way of life, competition does empower individuals to harness their skills in pursuit of both personal and professional development. Interestingly though, struggling against those who challenge us isn’t the only way to achieve. In fact there is actually great benefit to working alongside those whom you see as competition, and these are the top reasons why.

You will get to experience how another individual approaches the same craft.

Although you produce the same type of work as another person, you most likely don’t go about doing so in the same way. By collaborating on a project, you have the opportunity to not only learn from your competition, but to also assess the efficiency of your own habits. The insight obtained through meaningful collaboration not only instigates education, but also growth. Realizing that your way of doing things isn’t the only way, can be a hard pill to swallow. However, when you’re willing to be humbled by an experience, you often walk away far more skilled than when you started.

You may build/create something together you wouldn’t have been able to apart.

Sometimes two minds really are better than one. And as unbelievable as it may sound, coming together might be the key to opening doors you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Now this isn’t to say you “need” your competition to succeed. On the contrary, you’ve gotten to this point in your journey because of a unique skill-set and willingness to work hard. However, when individuals lift each other up (in any scenario), everyone tends to thrive. Why? Because collaboration breeds connection and through connection we have the ability to tap into some serious creativity.

You will likely grow as a person.

Is watching someone else achieve their dreams always easy? No, but it is a part of life. And while you may have the option to continuously pooh-pooh the success of your competition, your decision to do so says far more about you than it ever could about them. After all, competition is designed to create comparison, and that is always a losing game. When we learn to celebrate and perhaps even aid in someone else’s success, we experience a serious moment of growth. Beyond that though, we also learn that there isn’t just one way to the top. Our paths will often look different, and despite what you may have once thought, that is totally okay.

You may end up with some really great friends.

At the very least, collaboration and working with another person on a mutual goal forces us to look beyond our differences and see the qualities we share. Whether that leads to a gained respect, a professional acquaintance or a lifelong friend is anyone’s guess. However, those alternatives all seem pretty good in the grand scheme of things. So rather than assembling walls around ourselves, why not start building bridges instead?