Did you hear they are considering a new competition for future Olympics? This sport – one that occurs in offices around the world – has become so fashionable that the Olympic Committee can no longer refute its popularity: Communication Competition.

Colossal communication collapses take place every day due to one primary reason: People enter into conversations with the objective of winning, as if the person they are communicating with is their opponent. Communications become a sport (and quite dysfunctional) as participants in dialogues place an extra effort on proving they are superior.

Here are the tell-tale signs of communication competition:

  1. When one person is more interested in proving the other wrong rather than working together to evolve a mutually identified idea.
  2. When people have a tone or use words that communicate to others “You’re an idiot” rather than operating with the wisdom that no perspective (even their own) is ever complete.
  3. When the mantra of “the customer is first” means we must bludgeon each other with commands versus ensuring we are serving each other and making our team stronger – so that we can serve the customer in extraordinary ways.
  4. When we fool ourselves by sending emails thinking the electronic format provides a defense from which we can fire missiles rather than picking up the phone or walking down the hallway to demonstrate our maturity.
  5. When we split the room in two while arguing with one-another by using words like “I disagree/agree” instead of using words like, “from our perspective,” or “let’s continue to explore this thought,” to debate an idea and achieve alignment.

When you communicate, what are you saying about yourself? What are you telling others is your highest priority?

Wellness Culture leaders, those who lead high-performing workplaces, are only interested in winning as an organization. Their words and emails consistently inform the team: We want the same thing – success. Therefore, communications need not be competitions, but the primary vehicle to move people and results forward faster.

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