Beth Fisher-Yoshida on How to Have a Healthy Collective Workplace

Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Academic Director of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Master of Science program, has co-authored an article, with SIPA professor André Corrêa d’Almeida, about competition and collaboration in the workplace.

In the piece, published in the Huffington Post, the authors note the contrast in how "companies often talk to their employees about teamwork and building relationships, yet suffer from a lack of collegiality in the workplace.” They explain that, in “a zero sum game mindset, we are inclined to think that someone else having power means there is less power for me," so we feel the "need to ensure that the power other people have access to is minimized” in order to maximize our own power.

The professors advance instead the idea of “non-zero sums based on trust and reciprocal altruism...This is the concept of ‘power with’ and is akin to thinking of making every link on the chain strong so we can be a stronger unit together.”

Describing the importance of this paradigm shift, the authors argue that “mankind is in a transition phase. We are wired to connect and we understand the value of non-zero sums but we are still deeply driven by tribal instincts of fear, ignorance, kinship and ignorance and lack of affection.”

Read the full article in the Huffington Post.