There’s one in every office: a hypercompetitive colleague who stops at nothing to get every advantage over his peers. It’s tempting to try to one-up him and put him in his place, but that’s only likely to fuel his ambition further.
Instead, don’t participate in the rivalry. Continue to do your best work and expect to be recognized for it. React coolly to any criticism he hurls your way. If he says your report was subpar, for example, don’t take the bait. Ask dispassionately, “What makes you say so?” Invite others to offer their opinion, especially if you know they’ll back you up.
If you don’t engage with the competition, it will soon become clear to others that he has some kind of agenda.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Office Politics.