Tag Archives: Office

Surviving Office Politics at your New Job

Surviving Office Politics at your New Job

Whether you are just starting your first job or your 10th job,

you will find that office politics is consistent in all companies.

Office politics is something that is inherent in any company

you may work for. It’s part of the culture and you won’t be

able to avoid it. So just how do you survive office politics and

still get to make your talents shine? Simple, you need to

market your talents everyday, just as you did during the

interview that got you the job.

You basically need to focus on fitting in with the scheme of

things around the office. Be friendly and outgoing and offer

support to your co-workers and management when possible.

Refuse to engage in the sleazier side of office politics and

soon management and your peers will take notice of you.

You will win their support and respect.

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn to management. Don’t

assume that they should know what you do all day. They

have their own agenda and may take notice of some things

that you do, but many things may go unnoticed. Your positive

attitude and activities will rally support and leave a lasting

impression to everyone.

It’s ok to offer to take on additional responsibilities, but

only do it if you have the time or someone else hasn’t

stepped up to the plate. Don’t bite off more than you

can chew, it will make matters worse and make you

look incompetent. The trick is to show that you are

worth more and soon you will not only fit in, but also

come to be relied on for more important assignments.

You will be a player in the game of office politics, no

longer an outsider looking in. An increase in

responsibilities usually means a raise as well.

Playing the game of office politics well can lead to many

rewards in your career. In addition to fitting in and getting

personal recognition when an opportunity presents itself,

you also need to accept constructive criticism just as well.

Never take it personally, rather look at it as a chance to

grow and learn from mistakes. If you come off as defensive

when you are being criticized, it will sabotage any chance

you have of becoming part of a group.

Know your limitations, toot your own horn, play by the rules,

make your talents shine and most of all, respect yourself

and those around you. Remember that you will not be able

to please all of the people all of the time. But pleasing those

that count, those in authority and those that you work closely

with is equal to winning half the battle. Be subtle, make the

transition as seamless as possible and make yourself useful.

Only then will you have a chance at winning the war. It is the

easiest way to survive office politics in any company.

Article written by Simone Emmons.

Author Bio::——————

Simone Emmons

political forums

liberal politics

email: simi_hogard@yahoo.com

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Not your Traditional Office Politics

Not your Traditional Office Politics

I spent years in deep denial about office politics. I flatly
refused to believe it was necessary to “play” politics in
order to succeed. And – with a symbolic if not actual
stamp of my foot – if it was necessary, then I’d sacrifice
my career on the altar of my disdain!

Many people confound themselves with the same denial and the
same definition of office politics: bad, deceitful, backstabbing,
brown-nosing – all of the slimy things we often think of, both in
and out of the office, when we hear the word “politics.”

Many years later, and after teaching myself and others to
navigate successfully through a lot of political undercurrents,
my viewpoint has turned around completely. Successful
personal politics, both at home and in the office, is nothing
more – and certainly nothing less – than the art of
understanding and practicing meaningful, alert, and complete
communication.

Let’s look at these three components individually.

Meaningful communication has a wide scope, ranging from
avoiding the use of jargon and overly technical explanations,
to simply being sure we’re giving our audience what they need.
It means giving a useful answer that takes the questioner’s
context into consideration, instead of one that adheres only to
the letter of what was asked. It encompasses compassion,
understanding when someone needs help even when he or
she hasn’t said so.

Alert communication means that we’re paying attention to what’s
going on around us. When someone does, asks for, or objects
to something, the alert communicator has a pretty good idea
what’s behind those actions: we understand the context within
which the person is operating (or at a minimum, we recognize
that this context is there). When we understand the context –
whether or not we agree with it – we can participate in a
solution where everyone wins, or at least no one loses. When
we are alert to communication on all levels – verbal and
nonverbal, including action or lack of action – we can prepare
for whatever happens, instead of being startled by it.

Complete communication is akin to “the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.” It means leaving nothing out – but it
doesn’t mean using the truth as a blunt instrument to make
others feel or look bad. It means providing the context when
we ask for something, so that others can understand the why
behind our request, and see how their response fits into a
bigger picture. And it means saying the important things to
friends and family instead of assuming that they know how
we feel.

Just like any tool, political ability can be turned to good
uses or bad. I can use a hammer to smash a priceless
piece of art, or I can use it to tap a finishing nail into a
beautiful piece of furniture. In either case, it’s not the
hammer that caused the end result; it’s what I’ve done
with the hammer.

Likewise, I can use my political ability to undermine others,
turn their ideas into mine, and inflict guilt on anyone who
fails to meet my expectations. But I’d much rather take
the skills I’ve learned – and they can be learned, though
they’re not often taught in today’s schools – to help others
succeed, applaud their achievements, and be clear about
what I want and need so others can give me the gift of
helping.

Article written by Grace L. Judson.

Author Bio::——————

Grace L. Judson

political forums

liberal politics

email: simi_hogard@yahoo.com

The Problem of Office Politics

The Problem of Office Politics

When we join a new company, we’re all hoping for a fresh start and clean slate. The last thing we want is to get embroiled in political intrigue, regardless of how petty it might seem. Most of us just want to do our work and move along with our lives. Even if this were so, which is rarely the case, we must still deal with “political correctness” as defined by society; we have to recognize certain protocols in our mannerisms, language, and conduct. So, even before we get started in a new job, we have to recognize there is going to be some form of politics, like it or not. I remember visiting a manufacturing company in the Midwest where a Vice President proudly said to me, “You’ll like this place Tim, there’s no politics here whatsoever.” And I think he firmly believed it too. In reality, they had more cutthroat politics than I had ever seen before.

Whether you are a new employee or a visiting consultant, one of the first things you have to determine about a company is its pecking order. An organization chart makes a convenient road map in this regards, but it doesn’t truly define the power structure in a company. For example, a weak manager may actually draw his strength from a powerful assistant. Nonetheless, it is important to identify the fiefdoms of the company, who the key players are, and who the allies and adversaries are. Without such knowledge, you will inevitably trip into some political dispute or become an unwitting pawn in a power play. The best advice in the early going is to simply keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut.

Aside from the power players in an organization, the three most common types of political animals you will encounter are the Suckup, the Radical, and the Saboteur. The Suckup (aka “Brown Noser”) essentially has no spine and is the perennial “Yes Man” to the boss. The boss says “Jump” and the Suckup says, “How High?” But the Suckup has a political agenda of his own which typically is an advancement through the assistance of the boss. He therefore bends over backwards to please the boss at the expense of losing the respect of his coworkers.

The Radical represents “the bull in the China shop” or “loose cannon” and is best known for revolting against the status quo, not quietly but loudly, and is not afraid of stepping on a few toes along the way. In many ways he is like Sherman’s march to the sea. Perhaps his mission is correct, and perhaps it isn’t. Regardless, this type of person has a slim chance of succeeding as his detractors will work overtime to undermine him. When dealing with such a person you basically have two choices: either join him and hope for the best, or get the heck out of his way so that you are not run over.

The Saboteur is perhaps the most vicious of the three and can probably best be characterized as the “conniving weasel” or “backstabber” who schemes to make the lives of others miserable. He is driven by petty jealousy and wants desperately to be seen as a power broker in his institution. Since he has no real life of his own, the Saboteur gets his jollies by undermining anybody that garners more attention than he does. Whereas the Suckup and the Radical can be dealt with politically, the Saboteur is a pest that must be exterminated.

Office politics is about loyalty and trust. At some point, you will be asked to choose sides and this to me is what makes office politics ugly. I might understand this in government politics, but not in a company where we are all suppose to be on the same team. Politics is an inherent part of the corporate culture; some companies deplore it, others thrive on it. I guess it’s a matter of whether a company values the concept of teamwork or rugged individualism. I have found there is much less politics in companies promoting the former versus the latter. Either way, my advice to anyone joining a new company, be it a corporation or nonprofit organization, is actually quite simple: “En Garde!”

Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm


He can be contacted at: timb001@phmainstreet.com


Copyright © 2008 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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The Essential Leadership Skill – Managing Office Politics

The Essential Leadership Skill – Managing Office Politics

One of the skills that successful leaders need to master is a bit of a dirty word these days. It’s not the sort of thing they offer leadership training courses on, but it lies at the heart of most business relationships. What I’m talking about is office politics.


When we call someone ‘a political animal’, we’re often not being complimentary. We tend to mean that they’re manipulative and untrustworthy, maybe even immoral or dishonest.


A person who’s good at politics, in our eyes, is someone who likes to score points over others, who tries to scramble to the top of the heap over his or her colleagues.


But politics isn’t all about manipulation. There’s more to it than that. And whether we like it or not, politics is everywhere in the workplace and a good leader needs to know how to make the most of it.


So what does politics have to do with good leadership? Well, to start with, politics involves being aware of the effects your words and actions have on others. And – even more importantly – it also means knowing how to influence people.


In an earlier article, we touched on leading change as a political process, but let’s focus for a moment on your interpersonal political skills in leading change negotiating, persuading, influencing. These leadership skills are essential for success and survival.


In a way, introducing change into an organization is like running a political campaign. If you get it right, your people will support you and your decisions.


How to get your people to accept change:


1. First, set up your campaign team. This isn’t just your fellow leaders, who’ve helped you draw up the plan behind the scenes, it’s also the movers and shakers in your organization. You need to identify them carefully and well. These are the people who can influence OTHER people. Perhaps the people that you can’t reach. If the movers and shakers know about and support what you’re doing, the job will be that much easier.


2. Now prepare yourself. You and your fellow leaders have been working on the plan for a long time. You know how much work has gone into it, and you know how vital it is for your business. Now is the time to get everyone else on board. But be prepared: not everyone’s going to like it.


3. Let the debate go on. Listen to what everyone says: be careful not to spend all your time with people who agree with you. Your fiercest opponents are valuable people: they help you gauge the level of resistance, they set out the arguments you need to defeat, and, if they eventually come round to your way of thinking, they will be some of your most valuable supporters.


The politics of business:


1. Find allies in ALL parts of the organization: you can exchange vital information that you might otherwise not have access to. And you can form coalitions, so together you can influence current and future developments.


2. Intervene in the political processes of the organization: share agendas, influence decisions and decision-makers.


3. Make sure you’re not simply surrounded by ‘yes’ men and women. You need to listen to the devil’s advocates – that way, you’re less likely to make mistakes.


There’s more, of course, there’s more. But deal with office politics on a project by project basis and you won’t go too far wrong. Leadership is sometimes described as a contact sport. It isn’t so much what you know as who you know.


So let me ask you this: who do YOU know?

If you want the leadership success you deserve, get the leadership training you deserve. Download more free articles and leadership training videos from Steven Sonsino, an international business school professor and author of the Amazon bestseller “The Seven Failings of Really Useless Leaders”
Get more FREE videos and articles right now: http://www.deathofleadership.com

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Leadership Tips — Office Politics

Leadership Tips — Office Politics

Political Expert

 

For many years that’s what people called me.  It was not a title I wore proudly. 

 

I worked my way from entry level programmer to senior management in a large telecom company.  I knew a lot of people, and I had a great sense for how to work within the “system”.  I understood how it could overwhelm you, and I got good at knowing when to ignore it and when to play along.

 

In the jobs I had, the most important contribution I could make over the long haul was to develop the skills of the middle managers reporting to me.  The more effective I could make them, the easier and more successful my life would be.  It was frustrating to me when I would coach people and they would respond with comments like “I could pull this off if I had your political skills”.

 

I was insulted.  I didn’t play politics!

 

Of course I did.  I just didn’t want to admit it.  When you’re running for office, political skills are an important attribute.  When you are the guy running a business office, politician is a label that diminishes your true leadership abilities.

 

If anyone accused me of being an expert at office politics, I denied it forcefully.  I worked hard to get where I was, and no one was going to take that away from me.

 

Then I Changed Jobs

 

Same industry, bigger title, more people, new city.  I was not well connected, of course.  But I recognized the challenges of the job and I was ready to go to work on them.  Costs were out of control and results were inconsistent.  I had to fix both.  It was made clear to me that I was being brought in from outside because the inside culture needed a shakeup.  I couldn’t wait to jump in.

 

Was I successful?  Without a doubt, I accomplished more in two years in this new job than in any five year period of my career.  We downsized, actually improved morale while we were doing it, and got our operational metrics up where they needed to be.  My clients were internal, and they were effusive in their praise.  Personally, I was rewarded with a good raise and a really good bonus.

 

Six months later I experienced a career first — I was fired.  Well, alright, I was let go with a very respectable severance package.  But I didn’t see it coming, and it didn’t feel very good.  What happened?

 

When I took the new job, lots of people whispered in my ear about the politics in my new company.  It wasn’t very complicated either.  There were old guard insiders and when outside executives were brought in the old guard eventually rejected them the way the body rejects tissue in a transplant operation.

 

I wouldn’t get caught up in that.  I had a job to do and I was going to do it.  No political posturing for me.  I was in full denial.

 

So I worked very hard and got some of the greatest results of my career.  While I was doing that, there was a change at the top. The new CEO was a former executive of the company who had left and now was coming back.  He was a hero of the old guard. 

 

I wasn’t thrilled with the board’s choice, but I wasn’t worried.  My hard work and accomplishments would stand up to scrutiny, no matter who was in charge, right?  Wrong.

 

Learn the Right Lesson Here!

 

The obvious lesson might be that politics are real and you’d better play the game well if you’re going to succeed, no matter where you go.  But that’s not it.

 

Yes, office politics are real, no denying that.  As a leader, it’s important that you gain an understanding of the political landscape in which you are working.  Not so you can play the game — so you can avoid getting caught up in it.

 

Think about the successful leaders you know, the ones who rise to the top.  The vast majority of those I know didn’t get to where they are today by crushing their in house competition in the game of office politics.  They got there by crushing their external competitors and serving their clients better than anyone else.

 

Along the way, they were politically aware, but not politically active.  They built relationships with everyone they could.  While others around them came and went, they thrived because of those relationships and because of their relentless focus on the end game.

 

Live in denial and the smarter politicians in your office will be deciding your fate for you.  You won’t even know it.

 

Get good at office politics and you’ll score some wins; a promotion or two, a few awards here and there.  For most, though, the game eventually catches up with them and their political nature becomes career limiting.

 

Understand office politics well enough to avoid getting caught up in the wrong debates.  Focus on clients, growth and other key goals.  Build relationships with everyone you meet.  Know the game, and then refuse to play.  That’s how the best rise to the top.

The organization that isn’t changing is dying. For more leadership ideas, along with strategies for managing change, visit www.thomasjodea.com.


Tom O’Dea has over 30 years of IT experience, with 20 years of senior leadership in IT and Professional Services with multibillion dollar corporations.