In a typical organization, employees are separated (or self-separate) into groups with similar skills. Whether you’re crunching numbers, reaching out to customers, or designing the next big product, you’re likely working alongside people with similar skills to your own.
Businesses seek a good bit of overlap in skills. Shared proficiencies increase collaboration and help us communicate with our peers. In areas ripe with arcane terminology like marketing or I.T., shared backgrounds are an absolute necessity for proper teamwork.
Similar skills and experiences are great for camaraderie, communication, and getting things done in general. But, they can also blur the line between colleagues and competitors, especially when someone asks you this:
“Hey, you’re the only one who knows how to run that system, right? Would you mind showing me how to use it? You know… just in case you get hit by the proverbial bus…”
Some don’t give a comment like this another thought, but others might wonder if the “proverbial bus” is really a “proverbial pink slip.”
Are you dealing with coworkers who are colleagues or competitors?
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