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Ways to Beat Office Politics

How to Beat Office Politics

Offices are innately political because most people are innately competitive. When politics can't be ignored they can be a pain to deal with, and it often feels like the only thing to do is complain if you don't know how to play the game. Your personal advancement in a company can depend on how well you leverage your personal skills with how you strategize politically. Louellen Essex, co-author of Manager's Desktop Consultant: Just-in-Time Solutions to the Top People Problems That Keep You Up at Night has some tips on how to play the game while maintaining a respectful reputation.

  1. Observe how things get done in your organization: Get a clear picture of your company's culture by asking key questions, like how decisions are made and what are the core values.
  2. Profile powerful individuals: Pay attention to the way they communicate, network, and which proposals they're drawn to, and draw on your strengths to emulate their traits.
  3. Determine strategic initiatives in the company: Constantly update your skills so you're relevant to company initiatives.
  4. Develop a personal track record as someone who gets results: Focus on outcome and results.

There are five more on the list so just

  1. Don't be afraid to toot your own horn: Learn the art of diplomatic bragging to let others know what you've accomplished.
  2. Treat everyone with respect: If it's hard for you to be nice, remember that rude behavior can come back to bite you.
  3. Don't align too strongly with one group: For long term success, don't cling too tightly to one faction.
  4. Learn to communicate persuasively: Be assertive and show that you're well prepared with solid facts and examples.
  5. Be true to yourself: Some companies cultivate a negative culture that promotes unethical office politics, so if you decide the game is one you can't play it may be time to move on.
Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
it's definitely a bit harder when you're new to an office environment, and you're trying to not rufflke feathers but you want to establish yourself and know that you can get ahead. i've always tried to mirror myself off of someone that the Executives like...that way i can advance as quickly as possible.
randomname12345 randomname12345 9 years
I would also add don't be a gossip, don't butt into other peoples' business, and help your co-workers out once in a while if they're overloaded (they'll return the favor to you). And last but not least, remember to smile! :)
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
Luckily there isn't too much of this at my job. Which is good for me!
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I also would add choose your friends wisely. I have found that keeping working friends to minimum or almost a secret makes office politics much easier to deal with. Your not caught up in all the crap that comes with going to happy hour with everyone that you work with.
nancita nancita 9 years
These are really good and non-obvious tips. I think the last one, about remaining true to yourself, can guide you through all of the others.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I will do it. I WILL focus on outcomes and results.
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