How to Handle Office Politics

Adapted from Harvard Business Review

The best way to deal with political environments is to engage them, to turn towards them, not to avoid them.

Unless you reach out, engage others, and create active, ongoing relationships – relationships you sustain even when there is no immediate problem – you will lack the ability to exercise influence beyond your group. 

As you actively reach out and create allies and supporters around a common cause, keep in mind the following guidelines:

– Keep your efforts clearly and obviously focused on the ultimate good of the enterprise.

-Work with others for mutual advantage, not just your own. Don’t be selfish and work only for your ultimate benefit. This might backfire and you will lose your allies.

-Don’t make disagreements personal or let them become personal. Well intentioned people can disagree and still respect each other.

-Conduct yourself according to a set of standards important to you – honesty, forthrightness, openness, dependability, integrity – no matter what others do.

-Build ongoing, productivite relationships with everyone you need to do your work, as well as those that need you, not just who you like.

-Always remembers, these are personal relationships, not personal friendships. You don’t have to like them or them liking you, You just work productively with  each other.

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