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Outmaneuver the office cads
ew age companies pride themselves for upturning traditional hierarchies with fancy job titles, fat pay perks, freedom to call the boss by his first name and free play of ideas. The flat organisational field guarantees all hard workers a fair start, but to get ahead hard work must be propelled by the tricks of organisational politics. And the faster employees understand the power centres at work and learn to be deft at office politics, the greater the gains. Most employees abuse the power of office politics by viewing it as a dirty, manipulative game or by misinterpreting it to flatter, backbite, gossip and create hindrances in other's work. Every office, as an outcome, has a set of employees who indulge in office politics in a crude, obvious fashion. They think they have been hired with the specific purpose of keeping tabs on everyone, interfering and creating hindrances in other's work. While doing so, they sadly forget to run the race and stagnate. Sophisticated players, however, marshal the tools of office politics discretely to align organisational goals with individual ambitions. Assure Consulting.com provides employees the necessary ammunition to win at the not so clean game of office politics.Size the competition: Marilyn Moats Kennedy in her bestseller: Office Politics: Seizing Power, Wielding Clout recommends that new employees prepare a rough organisation chart. In this rough organization chart, colour the people blue who are helpful, will extend support in a meeting when the going is tough, will back your ideas because they make sense and are beneficial to the organisation and praise your undertakings and your successes.
Colour the people green who are not sure about you in the organisation. They don't know you well and are hesitant to say anything, because, for the most part, they are neutral toward you. Try to cultivate a relationship with them by projecting a professional, supportive and reliable image.
Colour the people red, who are against you in an organisation. They are the malevolent kind who will not refrain from harming you through e-mail or memos or by spreading gossip and will make every effort to make you look in the wrong. In short, they do not want you to succeed in the organisation.
Kennedy's advice to employees is to focus on building unassailable relationships with the blues and maintaining constant contact with the greens. A rough sizing up of competition in terms of blue red and green will tell you exactly where you stand versus each colleague. A large number of peers may not fall in any of these neat categories. People wear different hats at different times depending on where they are. Try to understand the dominant character traits and work your way accordingly.
Understand power centres: In any organisation, power is dispersed among various cliques and groups. Individuals belonging to these groups have vested interest to protect and can plot subtly to stop people from progressing. Understanding the bedrock of their existence will help you maneuver your way through both fluid and sticky times.
Guise your motives: Sunita Rao, an HR manager, never let out her abiding belief in feminism when she joined her new firm. She sensed that the company would be immediately hostile. Four years later not only was the company hiring more women but was also instituting specially designed policies for women employees.
Only the Paranoid Survive: One of George W Bush's favourite dictum is: "Do not assume anything." At the office do not bank on anyone to back you up. New age companies are market driven and everyone including the CEO is dispensable. Hence, the minute you begin to feel cozy or complacent, you'll find somebody plotting to sweep the rug under your feet. The only way to prevent this is to stay on one's toes and avoid taking any person or situation for granted.
Cultivate mentors: Establish a mentor-student relationship with important people. Find out the interests of people senior to you. Maybe the two of you like some form of music or certain kind of science fiction. Approach your prospective mentor gently gradually, without appearing pushy or desperate: "I thought you would be interested in this."
Assure' Final Word: In today's corporate environment politicking is an essential soft skill. Do it in a professional way. Apply the same ethics and hard work to that part of your job and see yourself emerge a winner.