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Top-Shelf Tip No. 184:

"It is better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late."

Marilyn Moats Kennedy

Playing Politics

My small company of fewer than 200 people was recently acquired by a Fortune 30 company and one of the most immediate differences in culture of these two organizations was politics. I suddenly found myself in a storm of copying multiple people on emails, debating who I should invite to a meeting and making sure certain leaders at certain levels knew who I was and supported my projects.

It’s an environment that can often be exhausting and feel counterproductive. Promotional Consultant Today shares these tips for navigating office politics from blogger Dan Rockwell.

Office politics exist wherever people work together. When interactions run smoothly, it’s like water to fish. Not everyone thinks office politics is ugly. Like most things, there’s a good side to this dark issue.

Rule 1: Connect with people you don’t like , especially if they have power and authority. Treat them with respect and kindness. The alternative is beneath you. If extending kindness to people you don’t like is below you, you have a problem.

Rule 2: Accept everyone as they are. Acceptance isn’t agreement, approval or affection. The alternative to accepting people is rejecting them. Rejection creates adversity.

Rule 3: Deliver exceptional results and elevate your social game . Don’t exclusively rely on your work. Keeping your head down and doing your work is na´ve. Those who skillfully play the social game are more successful than those who don’t. If this rule bugs you, you need it.

Rule 4: Think of your team . It’s not just you. Your team is at risk when you’re in the crosshairs of a skilled office politician. Worse yet, they may be pressured to take sides in a fight they didn’t start.

Rule 5: Engage in ethical office politics with the motivation to help people . You never know when you might be able to help someone you don’t like. Leaders connect before they get things done through people.

Rule 6: Expect reciprocity . Ask others to contribute to your agenda. The social game isn’t a one-way street.

Focus on office politics not as the enemy but as a goal to building a harmonious relationship.

Source: Dan Rockwell is the author of Leadership Freak, a blog that began in January 2010. He is also co-author of The Character Based You. His blog is read in virtually every country around the globe and has been recognized as the most socially shared media blog in 2012 and 2013, with over a quarter-million subscribers.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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