Olympic athletes may not be the only individuals competing for recognition this summer. However, while a certain amount of competitiveness in the workplace is healthy, some employees go overboard. OfficeTeam (www.officeteam.com) identifies five types of workplace “competitors” that take competition too far, and provides tips for working with them effectively:

* The pole vaulter. This person jumps to nab all of the high-profile assignments, leaving the less visible work to everyone else. To get the plum projects, proactively make your interests known. Volunteer for key assignments and acquire hard-to-find skills that make you indispensable.

* The boxer. This worker has a jab for everyone — whether it’s a snide remark during a staff meeting or a sarcastic email. Don’t succumb to this person’s negativity. Remain professional when interacting with him or her, and try to work out your differences. If the behavior doesn’t stop, alert your manager or HR department to the situation.

* The sprinter. This person tries to get favor from his/her superiors by working quickly – even if the results are sloppy. Don’t cut corners to compete with this individual. Instead, become known for delivering quality work.

* The gymnast. This employee bends and twists the facts, sometimes taking credit for others’ work. When collaborating with this colleague, be sure to share your original ideas and contributions with your manager. Document the designation of duties and other critical conversations to avoid finger-pointing down the line.

* The marathoner. This person can go the full distance when it comes to spending time at the water cooler, sharing rumors with anyone who will listen. Although it can be useful to have a sense of the political climate in your organization, avoid associating closely with office gossips, and don’t share sensitive information with them. An employee who talks about others, will talk about you, too!

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