How smart women win in office politics

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 Do you enjoy dealing with office politics? Often, the mere mention of the word "politics" gives rise to negative connotations. By changing your perspective on politics, and leveraging your network, you can dramatically improve your chances of recognition and advancement.

 

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Do you enjoy dealing with office politics?

Becoming politically savvy isn't always seen as an achievable, worthy goal. The mere mention of the word "politics" gives rise to negative connotations.

A senior finance manager had said, "I refuse to be manipulated and manipulated to move forward". She was still disappointed after being passed over for promotion twice. The two male colleagues promoted next to him were less qualified, but excelled in politics.

In her article titled Seven Career Killers, author Erin Burt warns "...Avoiding politics altogether can be fatal to your career. Every workplace has a complex system of power, and you can use it on your own." can - and should - act ethically to the best advantage." By becoming politically proficient you can learn:

 - Rise above power plays and interpersonal conflicts
 - Build a reputation as a well-known person, expert or leader
 - Gain access to resources, information and opportunities
 - Influence results and shop for ideas and initiatives.

As you gain the ability to navigate office politics effectively, I encourage you to let go of negative perceptions about office politics and consider these alternative perspectives:

New Perspective #1: Replace the word "politics" with the term "organizational awareness". Isn't it better than before?

New Perspective #2: Workplace politics is about understanding communication and relationships in which women can excel.

New Approach #3: Make a personal commitment to using your organizational awareness in an ethical and authentic way.

Now that you are armed with a positive attitude, consider taking the following steps to use office politics to your strategic advantage.

Step 1: Map the Shadow Organization

 
A parallel to the traditional hierarchical organizational chart of a company is known as a shadow organization. A shadow organization is an informal, informal network of relationships and alliances. Understand your shadow organization and you will understand how power and influence work.

Examine your shadow organization by taking on the role of supervisor, as if you are a corporate anthropologist. Pay attention to who has influence, who gets along with whom. Discover who is respected and who champions others. Who are the centers of social interaction and corporate intelligence? Find out who really does the work.

Create a visual map showing all the major players. Classify each interrelationship, noting whether it is based on friendship, support, respect, or coercion. Note the strength of each connection and the direction in which the impact flows.

For example, when a project manager mapped out her shadow organization, she found she had strong bonds with peers, but not with higher-ups.

Step 2: Build the Relationship

 
Identify the people with whom to build relationships. Take at least a month to build your network without imposing an agenda on any relationship.

A manager of human resources went out of his way to build stronger relationships with his company's marketing department when he noticed that he was always the first to hear about new products and trends. Having access to this information allowed him to gain more credibility in his department, where he now has a reputation for keeping a finger on the pulse of business.

Step 3: Leverage Your Network

 
As relationships mature, your network can help you accomplish valuable goals and impact. For example, you can use your network to build visibility, repair difficult relationships, gain access to information, and attract opportunities.

Employing these approaches and steps worked well for the senior manager of finance who was passed over for promotion. She knew that her boss and her team did not recognize her value to the company. By mapping out relationships and spheres of influence, she realized how to gain recognition and influence. His most recent research topic was a hot-button issue for his VP, so he mentioned his findings in passing. In a unanimous meeting, he identified them for praise, and recommended that their entire organization could learn from their focus on their business objectives. She continues to build her relationship with VP by keeping them updated about her progress.

By changing your perspective on politics, and using your network, you can dramatically improve your chances of recognition and advancement.

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