8/21 #OTalk- ‘Competing with’ versus ‘competing against’ in OT (based on 2011 AOTA presidential address by Dr. Florence Clark)

 #OTalk – Competition and Excellence in Occupational Therapy

Date:  21/08/2012  Host: @BillWongOT

Blog Post  –  Transcript


This week’s OTalk host was Bill Wong. The idea of this discussion came about when he had a discussion on Facebook with Gillian Crossley two months ago. He has listened to a lot of live addresses made by Dr. Florence Clark at OT conferences in the US and during his studies at University of Southern California for his Masters and now OT doctorate degrees. Here’s the summary of this week’s chat.

1. How OT community initially perceived ourselves as competitors prior to reading the article/listening to the presentation initially.

@kirstyes
@BillWongOT @gilliancrossley @trio33 Probably that we aren’t all that competitive – too nice for our own good sometimes. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:06:57 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@BillWongOT @kirstyes @Trio33 I didn’t like to think of myself as competitive at all! I see it differently now #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:07:01 +0100)

@kirstyes
@gilliancrossley @billwongot @trio33 It’s possibly the same as people not liking to see themselves as leaders. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:08:33 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @gilliancrossley @trio33 For me personally, I actually thought she talked about the dog eat dog nature of OT at times. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:10:28 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@kirstyes @BillWongOT @Trio33 mmm.. I think, sometimes you can be perceived as a show off by others if you’re competitive or a leader. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:10:37 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
Is it about being too nice? Not sure I can fit in that category! But I also do not see myself as being competitive in my OT work. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:11:17 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
… to explain, I do not see that I compete against anyone except myself and my own expectations of myself. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:13:03 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
but I did not see it as a competition, I applied for the 1 I wanted, presented my ideas etc. More about the right person for the job #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:17:04 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley @kirstyes @Trio33 I agree… and we make the results of winning/getting something look so great. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:12:12 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley @kirstyes @Trio33 For example- say a spot in AOTA’s Emerging Leaders Program, OT assoc. president, etc. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:12:40 +0100)

Our thought on the ideas of “competing with” and “pursuit of excellence” by Clark (2011).

@gilliancrossley
@gilliancrossley @BillWongOT @Helen_otuk maybe where competition links to leadership is how competition is enacted.Good sportsmanship #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:24:00 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley I did that w/ Jaclyn Tarloff (one of our mutual friends on FB). Best professional move I ever made! #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:26:01 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
@gilliancrossley Agree, good sportsmanship and team work are defiantly more important to me as a person. I have to live with myself. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:26:11 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@Helen_otuk @gilliancrossley I also think it enhances ur professional reputation. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:27:42 +0100)

@charl885
@BillWongOT those could include competition with other people/departments providing similar services…1/2 #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:26:45 +0100)

@charl885
@BillWongOT …in the pursuit of the best services for our clients 2/2 #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:27:59 +0100)

@kirstyes
@BillWongOT Idea of pursuit of excellence & competing with as a team are attractive but sometimes others see pursuit as comp against #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:28:13 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
My feelings are very much influenced by my previous roles. I like to think that I work with people, to achieve the best outcomes 1/2 #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:28:30 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
these are for the people we work for ie clients and the organisation and for the team. 2/2 #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:30:09 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley @Helen_otuk And I also think that sometimes our “competitors” now could be our “allies” later #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:30:53 +0100)

@charl885
@gilliancrossley @Helen_otuk i truly hope that can happen!i cant help think personalities may come in the way of that sometimes tho.. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:34:06 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@charl885 @BillWongOT OT survival situations can make for ugly competition : ( #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:34:42 +0100)

@kirstyes
Do people think that the idea of competing with should be encouragement to help others push the occupation agenda too? #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:36:02 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley @charl885 Absolutely. That will make the profession look bad within ourselves and those who might use our services. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:36:05 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@charl885 @gilliancrossley @Helen_otuk but how about pursuit of excellence? Does it inspire more evidence based research? #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:36:46 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes if it’s used constructively, absolutely! I see that’s the driving force in my OT journey. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:37:32 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@BillWongOT @charl885 @Helen_otuk i’m sure it does in those who pursue excellence! #otalk ..
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:38:14 +0100)

@kirstyes
@BillWongOT @charl885 @gilliancrossley @helen_otuk I think the driver is there for both doing it and using it in practice. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:38:38 +0100)

@charl885
@gilliancrossley @BillWongOT maybe standing your ground in your role at all times will enable survival.competition by being defensive! #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:38:48 +0100)

@kirstyes
@BillWongOT @charl885 @gilliancrossley @helen_otuk Conferences are great for sharing excellence,seem very positive not about boasting #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:39:21 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@BillWongOT @kirstyes #otalk ! yes! I think competing with should be encouraged as part of OT training! and continued in practice
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:39:49 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley @charl885 @Helen_otuk I think the “in those” should be converted to “all”, according to Dr. Clark. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:40:09 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@BillWongOT @charl885 @Helen_otuk for me its not the sting of losing its the sting of failing #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:40:40 +0100)

@charl885
@BillWongOT @gilliancrossley @Helen_otuk Ideally. But it may even be delivering excellent service in everyday clinical practice #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:40:41 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @charl885 @gilliancrossley @helen_otuk I agree. That’s my approach to my conference presentations. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:41:09 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @charl885 @gilliancrossley @helen_otuk my objective for my OT conference presentations is to equip OT’s to be better 1’s. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:41:48 +0100)

@charl885
@BillWongOT @gilliancrossley @Helen_otuk At an old job I was always told: ‘today’s high standards are tomorrow’s expectations’ #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:42:01 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@charl885 @BillWongOT @Helen_otuk yes I think competing with has everyday implications for improving services #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:42:06 +0100)

@kirstyes
@gilliancrossley @billwongot any suggestions for how to encourage competing with rather than against in training? #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:42:07 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @gilliancrossley hmmm… I think it has to start from the very beginning when we are still students. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:43:16 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@kirstyes @BillWongOT maybe group team building activities? to show the effectiveness of competing with and working together? #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:44:27 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @gilliancrossley so it maybe a good idea for OT leadership make appearances to new student orientations. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:44:54 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
To me ‘competing with’ is about everyone wanting the best outcomes for all. Individuals, teams, organisations, profession etc. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:45:14 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@kirstyes @BillWongOT #otalk or peer review, recognition of acheivement?encourage people to be proud of peers rather than competitve/jealous
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:45:37 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley @kirstyes But, I think it’ll be opportunities for students from different disciplines to collaborate w/ each other. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:45:49 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@fullyOccupied but for certain things, unfortunately there r only X winners, and the rest r losers. Can be counterintuitive @ times. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:48:24 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @gilliancrossley But if OT leadership coming in during early days when students r trying 2 find their ID’s, not a bad idea. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:49:29 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@kirstyes @Helen_otuk #otalk competition needs to be defined in a healthy comp way. but learning to fail and succeed are important lessons.
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:53:34 +0100)

@fullyOccupied
@kirstyes @helen_otuk #otalk used 2 like idea of stretching myself to match(surpass) the best driven by admiration rather than jealousy….
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:54:25 +0100)

@charl885
@fullyOccupied @Helen_otuk by softening could we lose our voice and be forgotten by other health professionals, so clients miss out? #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:55:56 +0100)

Lastly, we have the following take-home points.

@kirstyes
@BillWongOT I think basically that we need to compete with ourselves and strive for excellence to ensure survival and best practice #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:57:31 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@BillWongOT #otalk still undecided on the whole competitiveness thing.. I feel like ‘comp with’ links with leadership and self actualization
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:57:42 +0100)

@charl885
@gilliancrossley @BillWongOT i was thinking about self-actualisation too!! #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:59:27 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@kirstyes @BillWongOT so maybe it should be ‘competing with ourselves, together’ ? #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 20:59:53 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
Do we need to compete? Why compete? Is it healthy, does it progress us as individuals or a profession? We can work with and together #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:00:36 +0100)

@charl885
@BillWongOT I’m unsure now! I thought I already knew, but I guess that’s the beauty of an #otalk I will go away and mull it over!
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:00:39 +0100)

@fullyOccupied
@charl885 @helen_otuk #otalk ah – it wasn’t a suggestion, more a view that twiddling a word doesn’t really change the meaning!
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:00:50 +0100)

@kirstyes
? @gilliancrossley : @kirstyes @BillWongOT so maybe it should be ‘competing with ourselves, together’ ? #otalk ? like it
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:01:17 +0100)

@Helen_otuk
@fullyOccupied I agree, but I will keep on sharing and working with. At least I can sleep well and know I am doing my best! #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:01:58 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@gilliancrossley I was thinking in line of @kirstyes . We’ve to strive for the best, and also inspire our OT colleagues to do same. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:02:35 +0100)

@kirstyes
@Helen_otuk I think competition does drive things on/ advances.Think about the Olympics/Paralympics/Computing but needs to be healthy #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:03:10 +0100)

@charl885
@BillWongOT I think I need to work out first in which areas I’m competitive, I didn’t think I was!! great #otalk this week 🙂
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:04:16 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@Keeper85 @kirstyes @billwongot I think that maybe depends on the aim and outcome of the competitiveness #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:06:36 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@Helen_otuk I think to certain extent, yes! It does drive us to do things we might previously have not thought of on a + way. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:12:59 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
@Keeper85 @kirstyes @billwongot as an OT i think this were reflection and keeping patients best interests at heart will help #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:13:05 +0100)

@BillWongOT
@kirstyes @Keeper85 @gilliancrossley Yes- because being too much of a bulldog will not win you many friends in OT. #otalk
(Tue, 21 Aug 2012 21:13:32 +0100)

@gilliancrossley
http://t.co/tGZdgKRz #otalk
(Wed, 22 Aug 2012 10:22:10 +0100)

Thank you @gilliancrossley, @kirstyes, @Helen_otuk, @charl885, @fullyoccupied, @Keeper85, and @BillWongOT for participating this week’s #OTalk.

Clark, F. (2011). High-Definition Occupational Therapy’s Competitive Edge: Personal Excellence Is the Key. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Volume 65.

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