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MicroLearning Dialogue – Office Politics


Two weeks ago you began your monthly MicroLearning Leadership Insights journey with the first topic being Office Politics. I hope you found tremendous value out of both the video and article.

Marilyn, had a real life question (perhaps you have the same one) which we answer this month.

July: MicroLearning Office Politics Dialogue

You said I get to choose in office politics, but that isn’t my experience. I try to stay above it all, but some of my co-workers are always trying to get ahead by putting me down. I don’t see any payoff for being nice. How am I suppose to act in this kind of environment? Marilyn.

Oh, Marilyn, I feel your pain. I do not deny a lot of negative action does take place. More than that, I do understand what it’s like to be on the short end of the receiving stick by such behavior. Do not lose hope.

There are three aspects of office politics that I would like you to keep in mind so you resist the urge of responding in like manner no matter how frustrated you become.

  1. When You Take It Personally—They’ve Got You: Office politics is rarely about you—it is more often about them. If you take the comments personally, they’ve got you. You see, when you react out of emotions rather than strategy, you’re dead politically.
  2. Negative Office Politics—Not a Success Formula: Does a “back-biting”, “me-over-you” attitude work? Yes, unfortunately. Employees can win using off-putting tacticsnever long, though. You may think back-stabbers are never going to get their just desserts… just wait. They will.
  3. You Truly Lose—When You Lose Yourself: It is not hard short term to play tit-for-tat. You can always replicate negative office  politics, but long term you’ll lose yourself. Why? It is hard to feel good about yourself when you have not remained true to your values. Nor will your newly-found,push-back office politics style have you demonstrating leadership.

Thank you, Marilyn, for your question regarding this month’s topic. It was perfect to kick-off our MicroLearning Dialogue.

And everyone, please keep your questions coming as MicroLearning is intended to support your career. The only way this dialogue becomes meaningful and alive is as you add your voice to the equation. It is an essential, vital element.

Office politics, as we’ve discussed, will always be part of your work culture, so congratulations for taking the time to add skills and behaviors to your leadership arsenal. You’re dialing-up your career to another level.

P.S. We will be offering our monthly MicroLearning Leadership—Insights to Propel Your Career Forward to our email list for the next several months. After that, we will only send the insights to people who request them. Don’t get left behind.

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