Nine Ways to Win at Office Politics
Ask some key questions: What are the core values and how are they enacted? Are short- or long-term results most valued? How are decisions made? How much risk is tolerated? The answers to these questions should give you a good sense of the culture of your organization.
Pay attention to their communication style, network of relationships and what types of proposals they say “yes” to most often. Emulate those traits by drawing on the strengths you have.
Update your skills to be relevant to company initiatives. For example, don’t lag behind in technology, quality or customer service approaches that are crucial to you and your company’s success.
Style without substance will not gain others’ respect, especially in today’s organizations that focus on outcome.
If no one knows of your good work, you may lose at the game of office politics – when you really deserve to win. Let others know what you’ve accomplished whenever you get the opportunity. If you don’t know the fine art of diplomatic bragging, you might get lost in the shuffle of your co-workers.
Don’t show preferential treatment or treat co-workers badly. You never know to whom someone might be connected, and rude behavior may come back to bite you.
While an alliance may be powerful for the moment, new leadership will often oust existing coalitions and surround themselves with a new team. Bridging across factions may be a more effective strategy for long-term success if you intend to stay in your current organization for some time.
Develop an assertive style, backed with solid facts and examples, to focus others’ attention on your ideas and proposals. Good politicians can adjust their messages for their audience ands are always well-prepared.
After analyzing the political landscape in your company, if you decide the game is one you can’t play, prepare to move on. It’s not typical, but some organizations actually condone – even promote – dishonest, ruthless or unethical behavior. The game of office politics in this situation is not one worth winning.