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Why Avoiding Office Politics Could Hurt You More Than You Know

https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-avoiding-office-politics-could-hurt-you-more-than-you-know

themuse.com

Why Avoiding Office Politics Could Hurt You More Than You Know
Imagine that you've worked your butt off to position yourself for a promotion. You took a job you were more than qualified for because you believed in the company, took the projects no one else wanted and knocked them out of the park, and even mentored new teammates until they became self-sufficient stars.

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Avoiding office politics

Avoiding office politics
“Avoiding (office) politics altogether can be deadly for your career. Every workplace has an intricate system of power, and you can—and should—work it ethically to your best advantage.” -- Erin Burt

Those that are politically savvy have better career prospects, better career trajectories, and are seen to be more promotable.

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Social Astuteness

Aim to become something of a “corporate anthropologist,” observing the relationships between co-workers and superiors and paying attention to informal social networks.

By observing the communication and relationships that surround you at work, you might discover that instead of hiding when the team gets competitive, you would do better to hang in there, go toe-to-toe with them, and ultimately earn their respect.

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Interpersonal Influence

Look for people who are not necessarily in high-level roles, but who have the ability to make things happen. Who are the movers and shakers in your organization, and what can you learn from how they get things done?

For example, you might discover that before voicing an opposing opinion in a global teleconference, it pays to have influential backers present. 

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Networking Ability

After you have identified those influencers, draw up a strategic networking plan to build stronger relationships with them.

Consider your most important career and leadership goals. Does your network consist of influencers, connectors, and advocates who can help? 

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Sincerity

Be mindful of not becoming someone you can’t stand to see when you look in the mirror. 

Warmth is the conduit of influence. You must connect with sincerity and build trust before you can lead. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Identify political players

We all start out naively assuming that all business leaders make decisions based wholly on fact and merit. 

The first challenge is to develop ...

Keep political players comfortable

Every individual and leader has their comfort zone--behaviors, values, attitudes, fears, and drives that result in productive relationships. 

Actions outside these comfort zones will likely lead to feuds, hidden decisions, excessive arguing, counter-productive lobbying, and back-biting.

Align with decision-makers

Before coming and launching a fully-fledged proposal at a committee or in a memorandum, it's smart to test opinion and find out how key people will react.

This enables you to anticipate counter-arguments and update your proposal to answer objections and to accommodate political realities.

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Using Office politics to your advantage

Office politics are a reality, and avoiding them altogether risks not having a say in what happens. 

It also allows people with less experience, skill or knowledge than you to inf...

Analyze the Organization Chart

Map the political power and influence in your organization, rather than people's rank or job title.

Ask yourself questions like, "Who are the real influencers?," "Who has authority but tends not to exercise it?," "Who is respected?," "Who champions or mentors others?," and "Who is the brains behind the business?"

Understand the Informal Network

Examine people's interactions and relationships to understand the informal or social networks.

Watch closely (but discreetly and respectfully) to find out who gets along with who, and who finds it more difficult to interact with others. 

Notice whether connections are based on friendship, respect, romance, or something else.

Tony Robbins

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” 

Tony Robbins

Know your outcome

Figure out your “why.” Consider these questions.

  • What opportunities will become available by learning that new thing?
  • What would you do if you could use your desired skill right now?
  • Will you have a deeper relationship with your family/friends? Grow your business? 

Model the best

No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s someone in the world that has already achieved what you want.

You have access nowadays to endless resources in the form of biographies, books, videos, online classes and so on. You just have to search.