How To Master Office Politics
VideoJug show you how to navigate the minefield of professional relationships and be the master of the political scene in your workplace. There is always a degree of politics in every office, so learn to be one step ahead with VideoJug's assistance.
Step 1: Spot the influencers
The power of position is often less significant than the power of influence, so establish who really has the power in your office by observing people's characteristics and relationships.
For example, Sandra's the IT manager, but since the new system's been installed Derek the programmer is the only one who knows how it works - so if the server crashes he's the go-to guy for a quick fix. Be honest about your own relationships too - You and Dave are long-term friends, so you listen to him as a trusted advisor, even though Kim the new girl is your official assistant. If others know this, Dave could be the target of the occasional attempt to get a fast-track to your approval.
Step 2: Be visible
Particularly if you work in a busy office, don't just sit in your managerial bubble at the back. Walk around and say hello to people. Make sure they get to know your face so that they know who to approach if they need to. Greet people when you pass in the corridor and make conversation in the kitchen. Being known as an approachable individual can put you in a strategic position to exert influence outside of your immediate job description, particularly if approachability is coupled with effectiveness.
Step 3: Knowledge is power
As a manager, you will have knowledge about the company that your staff don't. Careful use of this can strengthen the respect that others have for you. Become the trusted source that others come to when they need to know something. Don't break confidences or give away company secrets, but be the one to explain why a job needs doing or how their particular piece of work fits into the bigger picture. Provided your information is accurate, your authority will increase as others respect for you grows.
Step 4: Help others
Invest in a positive working relationship by being available to offer help and support to others. This will make them more likely to help you when you need it.
If you want something from someone, you can always make it clear how you can help them in return. As a manager you may be uniquely positioned to offer specific types of help, such as information, money, resources or staff.
Step 5: True mastery
Be warned, playing the office politics game can be risky. If your motives are less than honourable your colleagues will spot your manipulative attempts a mile off.
A true master, however, will engender an ethos of approachability, openness, integrity and generosity in their working life. It is these that will establish you as the rightful ruler of the political scene in your workplace.