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April 16, 2012

Overcoming The Fear Of Office Politics


Getting ahead in life often requires possessing some key character traits. Being determined, a self-starter and a hard worker are some of the obvious ones. Making sure that you are always willing to make sacrifices in order to push yourself to the next level is also something to consider. But what about the act of stepping over other people?

When putting it that way, it sounds absolutely horrible. No decent person should have the intent to hurt others during his or her quest for success, right? However, even if that isn’t the intent, is it not inevitable that leapfrogging over someone’s position may be necessary in order to get yourself to the next level?

A friend of MeloTel’s was recently offered a job position that would mean replacing a supervisor. Wanting this position presented a moral conflict that she had a tough time dealing with. How is one to be happy about getting a promotion when it means the demotion, or worse, the firing of another individual?

The answer may not be the easiest one to find. But there are a number of things that one should consider when presented with this dilemma. In order for some people to win, others must lose. It’s simply the nature of the business world. How to handle it is the key to finding success and being proud of it.

On, this entire issue is addressed. Penelope Trunk discusses office politics and admits that it is simply a part of life that we all must become well versed in. That is – if we truly do wish to get ahead in our lives. Her article, by the way, is by no means a lesson in being mean. It’s quite the opposite.

Writes Trunk, those with good office politics are “people with empathy, people who are great time managers, and people who see themselves as part of a team. Which means, of course, that you should get good at office politics, because the people who are bad at it have dead-end careers.”

Trunk lists a number of ways to get over the hump of office politics. Dealing with co-workers in a respectful manner is important. But remember, it can be to your detriment to allow yourself to miss opportunities simply because you don’t want to have to deal with office politics.

In our next blog, we will take a close look at some of Trunk’s advice. We hope that it will help you to handle certain situations in your work place with greater confidence. That way, you will be able to get ahead without offending others or feeling as if you have stepped on toes to climb to the top.

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