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Evaluating Competition vs. Cooperation in Tire and Auto Repair Shops

In any business healthy and friendly competition among co-workers is a good thing. Competition brings out the best in people. It motivates, stimulates and drives us to accomplish the maximum possible. Cooperation enables people working together to achieve positive results. A good team of people with good skills that functions well together can accomplish more than a group of people with superior skills that aren’t able to work together. There is no shortage of opinions on competition versus cooperation. The truth is that for an organization to be successful both are necessary. The challenge is to allow for competition without letting it interfere with cooperation.

Natural Drive and Competitive Instincts

People are naturally competitive. We all have egos that tell us to gauge our status and position in relation to those around us. What doesn’t come naturally is the means by which people act to satisfy these instincts. A person in a competitive situation can react in a positive way or a negative way. The possibility of a negative reaction is the point that can result in behavior that conflicts with the cooperative needs of a team environment. So competition isn’t necessarily contrary to cooperation. It’s the way people compete that can have either a positive or negative affect on the overall business environment.

How People Compete and Cooperate

Unfortunately, most people are not fortunate enough to have been taught the most positive ways to react to a competitive situation. Likewise they may or may not have been taught cooperation skills. So they’re left to their own devices to develop these behavior patterns. For the most part, competition and cooperation take place at a peer level. So their impact is realized primarily with coworkers. There can be many different ways that people react negatively to competition and cooperation but any one of them will adversely affect productivity and the success of the organization.

Building a Positive Competitive and Cooperative Environment

Competition and cooperation are both good things and can contribute significantly to the success of a business. In order to make sure that their impact is positive the business culture and environment must be conducive to this. People’s roles in the organization must be clearly defined as well as their responsibilities to each other. Competitive conflicts can occur when people assume a superior position for the wrong reasons. For example if they’ve been with the company longer or they’re a relative. Another example is the perception by an employee that another person is preventing their success rather than evaluating themselves and identifying how to improve. The policies and procedures in the company should be defined so that the possibility of this type of situation is minimized. Positive reactions to competition are based on self-improvement. If you want to be more then you need to do better. So rewarding people and offering recognition for improving are key to fostering a positive competitive environment. Likewise providing recognition for cooperative behavior will encourage teamwork. People respond to incentives and positive reinforcement for positive behavior creates a positive environment.

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