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September 10, 2017

Seven Tips to Become a Politically Savvy Manager

Most people view workplace politics as something to be avoided since it can be manipulative and even unethical in practice. However, workplace politics is not inherently bad; its bad reputation comes from how people use it. In fact, if you want to succeed as a manager and leader and be positively productive, you must understand how things get done and who has the power to make things happen. Politically savvy leaders know what power they have, when to use it, and who to rely on for support. They understand how to navigate the organization, accomplish goals, and deliver results. Here are some tips to help you in the political arena.shutterstock_121207279

  1. Get to know the people you manage. What motivates them? How do they prefer to work—alone or on teams? Cultivate their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.
  2. Form mutually supportive relationships with your peers. Look for ways you can support others and offer guidance, advice, and assistance.
  3. Pay attention to the decision makers in your company and learn how they exercise their influence within and outside the organization.
  4. Plan your career two or three steps ahead and find out what you need to do and who you need to meet to reach your professional goals.
  5. When you make a mistake or misstep, apologize, fix it, and analyze the situation to determine what went wrong, so you can avoid the same pitfall in the future.
  6. Be considerate of how you communicate. Think about the effects of your words before you speak. How will people respond? Is there a better way to express yourself?
  7. Be positive and upbeat. Generally, those who exercise negative politics—the gossipers, the back-biters, the manipulators—have a negative reputation around the office. Position yourself on the opposite side by always being courteous and pleasant and refuse to be sucked into their petty games.

Start thinking about office politics as a positively productive means to achieve organizational and professional goals. Understand how it works in your organization and use the information to improve. Check out my newest program Getting Results through Influence and Persuasion for more help.

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