How to Win at Office Politics

By admin ~ January 6th, 2010 @ 12:24 am

I just read an article on office politics; you know that dreaded thing no one wants anything to do with. What I find funny was the suggestion that HR teach employees how to navigate the politics that exist in the organization. In most companies, HR is lucky if it can find its way out of a phone booth with the door open. Let’s face it not many employees look to HR to help them navigate the political minefield inside their company. So what’s a person to do if they are a victim of office politics? Here are five steps starting with the most drastic first.
Leave. I said I would start with the most drastic first. Yes, leave. If you feel victimized by politics of your department and it cost you the raise or promotion you felt entitled why stay. You can go some where else and start fresh with a good lesson learned. That is if you paid attention to the lesson. When you decide on this course of action be sure you understand what happen and why it happen so you don’t fall victim to it again. Complain. Why not. Everyone else does. You complain often and loud enough some action might be taken against the individuals that caused you to lose out on the new assignment selection. After all, if you got the assignment that raise and promotion would have been yours. Sulk. Sit in the corner and pout like a little child. This will draw attention to you and then you can follow step number two. Get even. This is always good. You start playing their brand of politics just so you can get even. Sometimes this works, but has a high failure rate. To win at this you have to be better than the person you’re in competition with. Don’t forget, they beat you out the first time, what makes you think you can beat them at their own game? Learn from the experience. You start by understanding what you went wrong, how you may have been blindsided. Learn how to develop relationships in the office, understand, and anticipate your boss needs. Most important learn to work in what I call your moderate risk area. Working in this area allows you to take on projects that have risk associated with them but don’t take you into high risk areas that have little chance of success. Understanding your area of moderate risk (AMR) will allow you to develop your own ACTion Program™ where you are:

*Accountable for what you do.

*You are communicating with your peers and superiors on what you are doing.

*And most of all you are promoting teamwork as a team player.

Understanding, your moderate risk area will require your participation in office politics. Your best bet for learning how to play at this game will come from someone who understands it the best. Which means you will need a mentor, or coach. This is where you can use HR. Use them to help you find that person internally who can guide you through the company political maze or who can recommend a coach that can help you work on this.
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