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How to Handle Office Politics

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How to Handle Office Politics

Postby Guest » Thu, 09 Dec 2004 3:46 pm

[align=center]How to Handle Office Politics[/align]

Some people thrive on office politics but for those of you who do not, here are a few tips on how to avoid it:

1. Keep it professional at all times.
2. Play the game being played, not the one you want or think should be played.
3. Don't make enemies. Don't burn bridges.
4. Don't whine and complain.
5. Don't intimidate superiors. Try to avoid going over your superior's head.
6. Don't make others look bad.
7. Don't criticize employees or bosses.
8. Couch criticism in terms of employer's interests, not personal.
9. Help others get what they want.
10. Establish affiliations of mutual advantage with important people.
11. Find common ground with others.
12. Don't discuss personal problems.
13. Selectively self-disclose.
14. Don't assume anything will stay secret.
15. Create win/win solutions.
16. Keep employer's perspective in mind.
17. Cultivate a positive, simple, accurate image.
18. Don't force yourself to do difficult, uncomfortable or scary things.
19. Be pleasant. Laugh and smile.
20. Be assertive and tough when required, not aggressive.
21. Don't oversell. Be natural. Develop your own style.

Managers can also do a few things to help keep politics from getting out of control:

1. Create an atmosphere that rewards performance and discourages politics. This can be a tall order, but once management makes the decision and initiates a conscious effort to build a professional organisation, the company will at least be on the right path. When managers are openly seen to discourage politicking and encourage moves that make commercial sense, it also fosters greater unity among staff and gets people focused on performance rather than boot-licking.

2. Encourage feedback from employees. Opening lines of communication helps diminish the value of the network that politically oriented middle managers rely on for their power base. In many cases, middle managers play the two sides against one another: They make out senior managers to be the bad guys, saying they themselves are on the side of the workers, while at the same time complaining to their senior managers that they simply can't get good staff. If managers know that subordinates have access to senior people, there is a more open working environment and less opportunity for misinformation to be used for political ends.

3. Don't allow political fights to persist. When individuals have opinions that make it difficult for them to work together, senior managers should enforce a solution.

4. Don't shoot the messenger. In heavily political organisations, subordinates are often afraid to tell bosses things they may not want to hear. This encourages yes-men and discourages people from raising issues that need to be addressed.

5. Flatter management structures also make politicking less useful. When there are fewer management layers, it's easier for senior managers to see who is performing well - and to sniff out those situations where politicking is interfering with the decision-making process.

Unfortunately the reality is that like it or not, office politics are here to stay. Wherever there are people vying for attention, promotion, greater compensation, there will be politics. Some people feel the trick is to play to win, and not sell your soul in the process. It can backfire on you if you choose the wrong route and, in the long run, office politics are really not based on anything tangible like work performance. Incompetent people who rise due to politicking will eventually be exposed.

Dawn McCoy, MBA
Business Analyst, Recruitment Specialist, Communications Consultant
E-Lynx Inc.


Postby Guest » Sat, 11 Dec 2004 1:14 am

And folks, if you do all that you'll become the person every one hates and despises for being the office suck up or the office scaredy pants.

Give it some welly, speak up and tell them to sod off if they don't like it. better to be upright and counted and flat on your face licking someone's boots and be despised.

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Postby Bubbles » Sat, 11 Dec 2004 7:05 am

Gotta say I sort of agree with this one.


Postby Guest » Sun, 12 Dec 2004 12:54 am

So what do you think how we should really handle office politics in a most professional manner :?:

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Postby Bubbles » Mon, 13 Dec 2004 7:51 am

This is a tricky one, don't you think? It all depends where in life you are. When we are young, and learning, it's best to be deferential, to a certain extent, to those in a more senior position. However, one can soon become 'part of the furniture' and ignored if you do not put a stamp on your job and your place in the hierachy of things if you are not careful.

At my time of life, (early 40's) and with the experience I have behind me, I'm on top of my job, hopefully, and anything new they throw at me is not fazing for me as I've most probably done something very similar in the past.

I think the answer to office politics is to know as much as you can, jobwise, not to worry about asking, work hard...but don't knock yourself out staying behind when everyone else is one likes a creep...even if you're not one, people will think it of you. And most of all, join in. Speak up but DON'T GOSSIP.. Don't be a wimp. (Don't get pissed and snog the boss, or worse, tell him or her what you think of them.) Help others. Let them help you. Don't let anyone bully you. Even if they are senior. Say something like, 'I'm sorry you feel that way but I can assure you that I gave it my best effort, if that is not to your liking I will try to do x y or z next time.....never bleat, but admit to mistakes. Don't be a blancmange, but don't be outrageous. What I'm saying is, be a personality, not someone who quivers each time the boss comes in..doh...there are other jobs.

Mind you, it's easy for me as I work in media and publishing where everyone is crazy and trying to outdo one another with 'personalities' so....don't listen to

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