How To Benefit Playing Company Politics

By admin ~ December 4th, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

At one time or another, we have been warned to stay out of office politics-it can be the ruin of a promising career! It is an old warning with a lot of tradition to support it.

Company politics has seen its evil days, but the day when close-knit groups resented each other in general and all ambitious newcomers in particular is drawing to a close. Most people are recognizing that such intramural skirmishing for prestige and influence did the groups no good while greatly impairing the productivity of the company.

“Company” in this context is a generic term that applies to any working situation. It does not matter whether it is private industry, government agency, educational institution or some other kind of organized work situation.

When people get along together, production rises; when they do not, it falls. Politics-good or bad-is inescapable. If people are not talking about their work at the drinking fountain, during a coffee break, or at lunch, they just do not care, and that is bad.

Company politics is here to stay. To close your ears to it is not to remove yourself from politics but from the company. How else are you going to know what is going on? And if you do not know what is going on in the company, how are you to know where you are going?

If you follow three simple rules, playing good company politics will be easy, informative and rewarding.

(1). Say something interesting or constructive about your work.

(2). Say something good about your boss, supervisor, or company policy-with sincerity.

(3). Keep on doing a good job.

If you cannot do those three things after a month or two on the job, if your work is so dull and the company so uninteresting, you are in the wrong job. Start looking for a different one now!

Private life and work are both parts of you as a whole human being. They cannot be completely separate incarnations. You are probably spending your most productive hours in each day at work-five days a week! Friendships do count in the business world.

Bad politics is based on greed, selfishness, power-seeking, and often prejudice. More often than not, the leaders are insisting that some outside influence is the cause of all their problems. They are unwilling to admit that their own actions might be at fault.

I once worked in an office where the goal seemed to be finding something nasty to say about the boss. It was almost a “can you top this” kind of daily conversational game.

The two most vocal individuals had worked for the longest time in the department. They must have been getting some kind of emotional payback from their actions in order to justify working for such an individual. Possibly: “You have the title but I am better than you in every way!”

Actually company politics is not the name for it, for the company will suffer irreparable damage in the long run. It is personal or factional, or clique politics, played for the advancement of the few, and let the company go hang, as it frequently does. Yet it cannot be ignored.

If bad office politics is to be counteracted intelligently, it must be recognized for what it is, from the lowest man subjected to its pressures to the president of the firm. If one is in no position to combat it, then one must know what it is all about for his own protection.

Personal success is not to be found where partisanship and bias have more influence than merit. Always remember that recognizing the talents and achievements of your staff and co-workers is a valuable asset. If you fail to give credit where and when it is deserved, there should be no complaints when the same thing is done to you.

Hard work and attention to detail does not automatically bring a promotion. Your skill working with others is an essential ingredient. It is almost tragic to overlook the constructive side of office politics. If you do not know what is going on around you, no one is going to know you are around.
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