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Why Office Politics Matters [Fulfillment@Work]

Fulfillment @ Work


July 22nd, 2008
   ISSN: 1533-3906

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Please forward this newsletter about office politics to your family, friends, and coworkers.

To subscribe to Fulfillment@Work, visit this link

As the political season begins to heat up, this month's newsletter is a reminder that it's always political season in the workplace.

No one likes to deal with intrigue at the office. But office politics can - and do - have a major influence on your career. I encourage you to read the article below with tips about how to win the political game.

Also, if you're interested in reading a couple recent articles about the benefits of using an executive coach, check out "Getting the Most Out of a Career Coach" in the Wall Street Journal and "Need Help Finding Your Bliss?" in the New York Times.

(1) Getting The Most Out Of A Career Coach
in the Wall Street Journal

(2) Need Help Finding Your Bliss? Hire a Coach
in the New York Times.

I'm quoted in both articles. In fact, one of the authors describes me of speaking with "the turbo-charged delivery of a football coach."

With much fulfillment, Joel


Garfinkle Executive Coaching
Dream Job Coaching


Why Office Politics Matters

Office politics can be either a positive or negative influence on your career. If you aren't successful in dealing with it, you can lose your job, get demoted or be alienated from key projects or people. If you are successful in dealing with politics, you can gain access to key influential players inside the company and even gain a promotion.

If you want to advance in your company, create more success, increase your responsibility and work on high profile projects, learn how to deal with the politics that exist in your company and group.

Here are five ways to put the power of politics to work for you:

1. Be liked.
If you look around at the people who play the political game the best, they are the ones who get everyone to like them. The first key is getting people to like you, make sure they feel you are on their side. When you are liked, people are less inclined to battle you when the politics start to involve you or your work. When you get along with people, it makes it easier for others to support your ideas.

2, Keep it professional at all times.
No matter how frustrated, irritated or short-tempered you become, it's vital you keep your professional composure. Things will affect you at work that you don't want to react to and lose yourself. Remember that part of the political game is keeping yourself level headed and composed.

2. Don't whine and complain.
It's easy to complain about management, your boss, other people, your workload, deadlines and projects. Also, you will find many others who will join you in the complain game because it's a nice release and feels good to find others who share your frustrations. However, whining and complaining is a passive approach that is about standing on the sidelines and judging versus proactively working toward eliminating the cause of the problem.

4. Don't make enemies or burn bridges.
There will be people at work you won't like or respect. It's important to not let this affect your ability to get along with them. It's easy to make enemies or have someone not like you or you not like them. However, this makes your job more difficult and just expands the work politics that already existed.

5. Don't make others look bad.
Making others look bad brings work politics to an elevated level. Most of the time, you don't consciously try make someone look bad. However, you can be careless or not aware of the impact of your actions on others. Actively try to make people look good because this will come back and look favorably on you.

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"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."


"Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life."

Saul David Alinsky

"Politics is like football. If you see daylight, go through the hole."

John F. Kennedy

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CAREER COACHING: You spend one-third of your life at work, so you deserve to feel fulfilled by it. Joel's unique 7-Step Dream Job Process focuses first and foremost on helping you find the perfect job that aligns with your passions and natural talents.

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Copyright 2008, Joel Garfinkle, all rights reserved.
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