10 Tips for Improving Social Interaction

6. TURN OPPONENTS INTO PROPONENTS

10 Tips for Improving Social Interaction by Tim Bryce

Today we live in a competitive society (some prefer the expression “a dog-eat-dog world”). I guess this is somewhat natural. There is nothing wrong with some friendly competition; it is when it turns vicious, thereby turning competitors into enemies, that you have to be careful. To overcome this problem, be gracious in defeat and magnanimous in victory. This was the secret to Abraham Lincoln’s success. After losing earlier political campaigns, Lincoln would stun his opponents by appearing at their victory celebrations and offering a sincere hand of congratulations and support. Because of this, his early opponents became his proponents later on. After winning the presidential campaign of 1860 he again stunned his opponents by offering them seats in his cabinet. These former opponents became his closest confidants during the dark days of the American Civil War.

It is one thing to go into a contest confidently; it is quite another to go in with a chip on your shoulder, thereby inviting trouble. Take disagreements in stride and pick your fights carefully. Ask yourself if it is really necessary to create an enemy at this point in your career.