Win at Office Politics Without Selling Your Soul
Marty Nemko | Monster Contributing Writer
Ever notice how some mediocre employees rise while more competent ones languish? Often, it’s because they know how to play office politics.
I know, I know. You’d like to think you can succeed purely on your merits. In some offices you can, but in many others, you must know how to play the game. Here’s how to win at office politics — without selling your soul.
In office politics, as in most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Once a coworker or boss is out to get you, it’s hard to avoid being stabbed in the back. Play positive politics, though, and your coworkers and bosses will probably turn any stabbing instincts elsewhere. Here are a few of my favorite positive politics strategies:
• Ask Respected Higher-Ups for Counsel Periodically: Encourage them to think of you as a protege, and they’re more likely to defend you when you need it.
• Perform Deliberate Acts of Kindness: Stay late one night to help a coworker on a deadline. Send a handwritten thank-you note to the person who gave you that Word tip.
• Do Visible, Important Tasks: If such tasks aren’t in your job description, ask if you can take one on. Be sure everyone knows you did the work. For example, you might email key employees a draft of your project’s final report, “for feedback,” ensuring your boss or rival doesn’t try to steal the credit.