In our last blog, we discussed the interesting and yet, uncomfortable-to-discuss topic of office politics. It’s important, of course, to get along with co-workers and do all that you can to assist your company in its mission to be successful. But considering your own personal gains shouldn’t necessarily make you feel guilty.
Today, we’d like to take a look at a Penelope Trunk article from DumbLittleMan.com to review ways that one can become an expert at the game of office politics. Being a good person in the office can go a long way. Not just in that in can help others, but that it can help yourself as well. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
Realize that it’s about being nice. According to Trunk, “you need a lot of self-knowledge about your strengths, and you need a lot of emotional intelligence to understand what other people struggle with.” Helping to foster a positive working environment will help for everyone’s work to be completed more efficiently. It will show that you are a leader, as well.
Don’t rely on your job competence. Remember, just being good at your job won’t necessarily help you to take your career to the next level. Trunk insists that people need to like you, simple and plain. She reiterates the importance of being likable. Get to know the people in your office and show genuine concern for others. This is what co-workers and employers will remember most.
Blame yourself first. If things aren’t going your way, you may want to first consider your role in the situation. Trunk writes that someone with strong emotional intelligence can get along with anyone. Try not to complain, but instead review your ability to engage in positive interactions with other people.
Go to couples therapy. This is an interesting tip, isn’t it? Writes Trunk, “A great way to figure out how to overcome your personality challenges is to go to couples therapy and practice on your spouse or whatever the person is to you. They have more patience than your boss, for one thing. For another, it feels safer. I mean, you probably won’t get fired.”
Be your true self. At the end of the day, no one is asking you to be fake. You should have a genuine interest in helping others. Know that this will pay off for you in the long run. Feel good about the work you are doing and don’t be afraid to accept compliments – especially if they are in the form of a promotion!
Being good at office politics does mean being authentic. Again, it’s more about the relationships that you develop than it is about your work competency. So, to go back to the question posed to us that sparked the past two blogs – if you’ve been offered a position that will mean taking over for a former supervisor – accept graciously and be proud of your accomplishments. You’ve earned it.
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