Personality-based assessements have given us insights into the unique characteristics of ourselves and our coworkers. When applied, they can help shape organizational cultures that are effective and respectful. Yet, some conflicts seem to be inherent in human interaction.
The mimetic theory posits that much of human interaction is imitation. In other words, we mimic each other in our desires. Human beings have an innate desire to compete with each other and gain status.
If an entry-level employee imitates the perceived habits, words, and ideas of the company CEO, they won’t run the risk of becoming a mimetic rival because of the distance between the two.
In contrast, a person with a specialized skillset can welcome and enjoy a newly-hired assistant’s imitation of their unique tasks and knowledge, but if the assistant’s duplicate skills start to rival or surpass theirs, friction and toxic work environments can develop.
When we feel like someone is too close to replacing our unique contributions, we may try to prevent them from attaining that power. This often shows up in a lack of teamwork and backstabbing.
Accepting that we are not the equals of people that we see and admire, does not diminish our value.
Source: HR Florida Review