Good to Know Stories of Caledon

Conquer Leadership: Mind the Comparison Trap

Park’s graphic
Written by Parm Chohan

Don’t compare. Find inspiration and make it your own.

This comes out of a coaching conversation with a senior leader in the healthcare space.

We’re all guilty of falling into the comparison trap and it doesn’t serve us. Comparing yourself to others will often leave you feeling defeated, deflated and disengaged.

Perhaps a perspective shift is needed. Instead of comparing, how about finding inspiration and making it your own.

For example, if you know someone who’s a great conversationalist, how do they behave in a conversation? What do they say? What do they do? What impact do they have on others at that time?

How can you take inspiration and make it your own?

Maybe it’s having a series of questions you can keep on hand to help initiate and further progress the conversation. Taking this one step further, consider saving these questions in an app on your phone. This way they’re always with you.

This lesson in real-time

I’ve met some people who are great communicators and conversationalists. I’m amazed at how some can very easily spark conversation and ask questions that pushes it forward.

I do my best to learn from them … take inspiration … and make it my own. Here’s one way I do that.

Believe it or not, in situations where I don’t know many people, I tend to stick to myself. I’m not necessarily walking the room and giving high fives to everyone and kissing babies 😁.

What I’ve done over the years is write out some questions to help me in conversation when I’m meeting someone new. I save these in OneNote which I can access on my computer and mobile.

Or I pretend to be busy on my phone and not talk to anyone – that’s a joke – don’t do that!

Here are some of those questions:

  • What do you do (for work/business)?
  • How did you get started in that?
  • What do you enjoy the most?
  • What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?

Some non-work-related questions:

  • What was your favourite TV show as a kid?
  • When was the last time you went on vacation?
  • What are some recent movies or Netflix episodes you’ve been watching?
  • What kind of podcast do you listen to?

Now that you’re more aware of the comparison trap:

  • What do you notice about how people effectively lead others?
  • What do you notice about how other people live with abundance?
  • What inspiration can you take and make your own?



Parm works with aspiring and established leaders to optimize peak performance through leadership development, team building and coaching. When embraced, this changes behaviour, increases collaboration, improves engagement and builds stronger culture.

One of the ways Parm adds value is by sending out weekly leadership development and personal growth lessons. There will always be something for you to apply in your personal growth and professional development. And to say thank you and welcome, look out for two bonus gifts.

Reach out to Parm directly or subscribe to the Conquer Your Potential email list:

JSC Newsletter

Receive our stories and events directly to your inbox, twice a month.

Sign Up

About the author

Parm Chohan

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.