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Dr. Greg Ketchum, 11/6/04
I’ve never had anyone say to me that they just
love office politics. In fact, most people hate
the politics at work. Well, love them or not,
office politics are a reality that you have
to learn to deal with. However, I firmly believe
that you can learn to play politics in the office
in a positive way.
Office politics are really about how to get
things done at work, how to exert influence.
Don’t forget, there’s a difference between politics
and dirty politics.
Today we’re talking about how to win at politics
in the office without playing dirty.
Let’s start by talking about 3 of the top mistakes
people make in office politics.
3 Top Office Politics
- Ignore office politics all together.
- Play “dirty” politics where someone has
to lose for someone to win.
- Assume that everyone operates on the basis
of “doing what’s right.”
Now let’s talk about 3 of the basic rules of
3 Basic Rules of Office
- Ignore office politics at your own peril
You must learn to “read”
the politics at work in order to survive.
Nobody truly wins unless
Finally, here are 4 action steps
you can take to win at office politics without
- Identify Advocates: Develop a network
of allies across your organization who can "advocate"
on your behalf when necessary and keep their
ears open for information that is relevant for
- Play “Constructive” Politics: You
get what you want by helping others get what
they want. If you get what you want by damaging
others you’re playing dirty politics and it
will come back to bite you, i.e. karma, reap
what you sow.
- Never make enemies on the way up. You'll
see them again on the way down.
Understand Other’s Motives:
If someone is playing dirty politics with
you find out their motives and see if there
is another, positive, way to meet them. For
example, maybe they just need recognition
and don’t know how else to get it.
All Else Fails And Someone if Playing Dirty Politics
®2004 All rights reserved. Gregory
A. Ketchum, Ph.D.