Playing Office Politics Without Selling Your Soul


Politics is a dirty word. But office politics are unavoidable. Whether you participate in them or not, politics have a big influence on what happens to you, your projects, and your team, so it’s hard to be indifferent to them. Fortunately, not all politics are bad, and there’s a way to play the game without selling your soul. Good politics involve advancing one’s interests but not to the neglect of other people’s rights or the organization’s legitimate interests. Good politics include acceptable ways of getting recognition for your contributions, having your ideas taken seriously, and influencing what other people think and what decisions get made. As long as it also serves a higher purpose, there is nothing wrong with advancing your own interests, too. Common phrases for playing good politics include being savvy, well-networked, or street smart, socializing ideas, and managing stakeholders. Learning to navigate office politics is pivotal to your career survival and to becoming a major player at work.

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