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Friendly competition for a promotion

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Q. A fellow manager and I are dueling for a VP spot that will open up soon. We were friends. Now we’re so intent on showing each other up that relations are getting testy. I’m worried things will only get worse, but I want that promotion. Ideas?

A. Ill will can breed bigger and more destructive conflicts, regardless of who wins the promotion. Say to your rival, “I know we both want to get ahead. As much as I’d like that promotion, I like and respect you and would be the first to shake your hand if you get it.” This classy move will ease tension. Meanwhile, don’t bad-mouth this person. And when you’re talking with the boss who’ll make the decision, don’t hog the limelight. Show your confidence by saying, “I’m not the only one making a contribution here.” Then praise some aspect of your rival’s performance.

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