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Individual vs Team: Dealing with envy

, January 23, 2015, 0 Comments

dealing with envy MarketExpress-inYou are a part of one of the largest I.T. firms in the country, a member of one of the Performing teams. At the time of recognising Individual Performance the company decides to reward its top performers with a choice of either the latest high-end mobile or an all costs paid vacation for them and their families.

This is a limited list .Despite your hard work, you don’t quite end up making the ‘High Performance –High Potential’(Super Star) cut .So no new gadget or paid vacation comes your way.

Your boss justifies his choice. He even praises your team work and promises golden opportunities in the future. But are you really listening?

All you know is that your best buddy made the ‘A’ list NOT you .The initial euphoria on being part of a performing team begins to acquire a dull edge. You slowly start putting individual over team and weigh most decisions and actions from your own (personal) perspective first and then the teams.

When this happens the reactions differ… Some may opt to initiate the search for greener pastures (making quick calls to placement consultants or reviving their Linked In networks), others might decide to better their performance, some may just shrug their shoulders and get on with their work but many will be overcome with envy. It’s this last feeling that we address today.

All companies assign a profound degree of significance to team –work. Team work is always a key value to look for in potential employees or employees earmarked for growth. Assessment centres and Interview panels assign high weightage to team skills. Outbound programs, team building activities, and recognition for performing teams display the focus allocated to building teams.

While allotting due prominence to team-work, companies still have to Recognise, Reward and Retain the STARS within a team. This inadvertently affects team spirit. You might have excellent relations with the fast tracker, with your boss and your company but friendship, mutual respect etc. aside, you are human, right? How do you tackle the green monster? How do you keep it from impacting your own performance and turning you into a sulking 10 year old?

Some ideas for you to reflect on ……


Don’t react immediately

The most common response is to badmouth either the boss, the preferred team member or the company in the canteen, at the chaiwala or even the loo J.Super Disaster! As walls have ears too.

Alternatively voicing negative opinions on WhatsApp groups, twitter or Facebook may also be options that people consider (some act on).Might make you feel good, might work occasionally but could also boomerang (read dismissal, legal action etc.)

This is reality .But not reality TV (so BIG BOSS kinda reactions not done).If that draws you then consider an alternative career.

We live in an imperfect world. Display grace, aplomb and a savvy attitude in the present save your reaction for later once you’ve given it some thought.


Life is not always fair. Stop expecting it to be 

Most people feel that they are not getting the recognition they deserve.
Whether International Relations or National Politics, our friendships, Selections at schools, colleges or sports .Name it and some one or the other has had a negative experience.

Despite being an international level badminton player and with many laurels in her cap, Saina Nehwal had to raise a media hue and cry to be recommended for the Padma Bhushan .Inspired by her, boxer Vijender Singh also followed suit, not so subtly throwing his hat into the Padma Bhushan ring.


Envy is not a friend

 This is a simple fact .Envy can have a paralysing effect and can help you set yourself up a doomed path.


Don’t pass immediate judgement

Everyone has their own style. Their own strengths and weaknesses.
Their own efforts and pre-work that go into any project.
We often just bear witness to superficial actions and are quick to pass judgement and undermine their efforts.
’What does she have that I don’t ‘,’I believe he could have done more’, are unworthy comments and only portray you in a lesser light.


Imitation is not always flattery

Medicine for one can be poison for another.
So don’t blindly try to follow the other person’s actions.
Pick only the positive aspects to integrate into your own performance and actions.


Accept it. They might be better than you

Actual instances of unfairness aside it could happen that others are indeed better than you.
It could be a culmination of their focus, their skills, hard-work, networking or just being at the right place at the right time.
So what? You don’t need to be bitter or re-work your past. Everyone has their share of good and bad.


Focus on your strengths

Focus your thoughts on your actions, your goals, your development areas NOT the potential failures and shortcomings of others.
Figure out your own way of getting things done. Learn and understand your own way of doing things.
Success will come if you focus more on yourself and less on others.


Don’t junk teamwork

Teamwork WORKS!
However teamwork goes hand in hand with individual performance.
Yes you have to work in a team. Help the team win.
But a company is not a charity, it is a profit making organisation and individual bright lights (performers) will always be valued.

Work with the team and for the team but not by forgoing your individuality. Focus on the team goals and your own performance too.