Friendliness is a journalist’s bread and butter. But there are always going to be people that just rub us the wrong way. Competitiveness, pettiness, self-consciousness, jealousy and other personality flaws construct a seemingly impenetrable wall between us and them. And sometimes we can be on the wrong side of that wall.
Journalists are innately competitive – with each other, as well as rival publications. However, there is such a thing as friendly competition. When a coworker has more average page views than you, see it as an opportunity for advancement. Take your colleague out to coffee and get some tips on web traffic. Though it may be tempting should an opportunity arise, don’t throw her under the bus or undermine her work.
Stabbing someone in the back never works out the way you intend it to. Knocking someone else down for a slight edge creates a precedence of nastiness that you can’t take back. Your colleagues may not immediately recognize your tactics, but eventually they will catch on. Then you’re the office pariah. No one wants to work with you out of fear, hate or mistrust. Worse: They will have an excuse to be nasty back. The cut-throat mentality has its limits, so follow the old adage and “do unto others as you would have done to you.”