Political Savvy – What you can do!

When office politics and political savvy are mentioned, many think of selfish, deceitful, deceptive, sneaky, conniving individuals who are doing things like:

— Snitching to management
— Lying or covering the truth
— Playing dishonest games, i.e. taking undue credit for others’ work
— Discounting another’s opinion or idea
— Back stabbing

Yes, it is true, there are people who do exhibit these behaviors. The employee who practices such devious politics does so at thier own risk. Practicing devious office politics may lead to being unwanted, dead-end jobs, fired, sued, or even punched in the face or shot. However, to ignore office politics is to ignore those underlying forces that account for the differences in success and cooperation with coworkers, your supervisor and management. Think of it like this – you must become politically savvy to protect yourself from the devious methods of others’.

At the lowest level of political savvy you are:

  • relationship building
  • networking
  • team palying
  • persuasive communication
  • information gathering
  • valuing diversity

So, what can you do to increse your credibiity with your coworkers and others?

1. Be a team player

  • Be supportive of others
  • Share the credit
  • Make use of humor
  • Share information
  • Touch base with co-workers before presenting ideas

2. Ask for advice

3. Exchange favors

4. Store up a reservoir of good feelings

  • Be a good listener
  • Do not snoop
  • Do not spread malicious gossip

5. Be a problem solver

6. Become a center for information and resources – be a “go to” person

7. Use appropriate compliments

  • More effective to compliment a person’s actions than a person’s traits and characteristics
  • Individualize; do not use the same compliment for everyone

8. Make a good showing at the office party or picnic

  • Avoid talking shop excessively
  • Read the newspaper before going
  • Practice smiling before you go
  • Engage in sports in a noncompetitive, friendly way
  • Identify people who you want to meet

The average employee just wants to be productive and get paid for working in an environment where their merit is rewarded and they are respected by coworkers. However, to ignore office politics is to ignore those underlying forces that account for the differences in success between equally talented people or even being manipulated by others.

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply