Monday, April 14, 2008

Office Politics 101

Navigating the nuances of any business environment can truly be a nightmare at times. There’s unspoken rules and dynamics that new hires often don’t realize.

Even seasoned veterans, however, can make missteps.

How do you deal with backstabbing coworkers who take credit for your ideas? It’s easy to just throw the towel in and quit. But, you may find yourself in an even worse position at your new job.

I suggest the following basics of workplace survival – three ways to master office politics.

First, identify those in power. Who are the movers and shakers in your organization? Who is respected, admired and even emulated? Knowing all you can about these key players, and building relationships with them, is critical.

Be the go-to gal or guy. When others value your contributions and opinions, you become perceived as an expert. This makes you more indispensable than those who aren’t. So, whatever it takes to get there, become an expert – signing up for training programs, getting coached – do it.

Show appreciation for others, even your enemies. Always seek out opportunities to praise your colleagues and team members. But, remember, sticking close to those who love you is easy. It’s more challenging to work with those who you’ve had issues with, but the potential payoff is great. Others will be impressed, and you may even turn your enemy into an ardent supporter – or realize he or she wasn’t that bad to begin with!

You know the old expression about keeping your enemies close?

I think Abraham Lincoln said it best: “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.”

No comments: