While we all enjoy the feeling of coming out on top, focussing too much on simply ‘winning’ without worrying about how you got there, is a recipe for disaster.
We’ve all seen an athlete bloviating and posturing before a big game, or a business tycoon bragging about all the little guys they have trampled on to get to the top. While they might technically ‘win,’ they certainly won’t curry favour with any of the people who witnessed them displaying such ‘unsporting’ behaviour.
Winning has far more to it than simply coming in first. If you want to experience winning over the long run, it pays to carefully plot your journey to get there. Sometimes what looks like losing in the short term can be a win over time.
Smart and talented people love to win – but when is it too much?
I’m guessing you love to win. You might have spent all day at the office arguing a solid case, and by the end of the heated debate, you have proven to your colleagues that your position is the best and most sensible. You feel great – the rush of winning floods over you, and you keep replaying the win in your head. All is good, right?
Well, yes – but only if you can prevent that rush from infiltrating the rest of your life. Let’s say you go for a meal with a group of friends immediately after your big day at work – are you so ‘keyed up’ that your need to win spreads over into your personal life? If you answered yes to this question (or perhaps your friends answered yes for you), you can already see some of the downfalls of focusing solely on winning, and not on the journey to get there. ‘Winning’ can be an addiction – don’t become an addict.
When does winning actually become losing?
Remember that hot office debate I referenced before? Well, this short term gain might actually become a long term loss. Just like your friends, your colleagues (and even your boss) will have noticed how you got to your win. Did you debate the issue with respect and grace, or did you bulldoze through the conversation and bludgeon everyone with your points?
While you might think that your boss and your organisation cares only about you coming out on top, they also likely care just as much (if not more) about how you got there.
Without letting others voice their opinions, put forward their arguments and actually ‘win’ from time to time, you end up a bloviating bully – and no one likes that. When you think of someone who matches this description, you likely don’t like him or her, either. Give it a rest – develop your emotional intelligence – let others win while you ‘lose’ from time to time. You end up gaining more than you think.