Typically, we use the term ‘office politics’ to describe our colleagues’ behaviour (never our own) as scheming and manipulating, whereas when we do it we are building relationships, developing strategies, and communicating!
Many people feel that office politics involves devious plotting or blatant self-promotion and even ‘back stabbing’. However, in reality, ‘politics’ is what naturally happens whenever people with different goals, interests and personalities try to work together. The process itself is simply a fact of office life.
To succeed, we not only have to do outstanding work, but also to deal with quirky bosses and colleagues with difficult and annoying characteristics. Colleagues get defensive when we point out their mistakes, unscrupulous rivals try to stab us in the back, and managers make decisions that seem totally unfair. Managing the political environment is just as important as managing tasks and responsibilities. Politics is about getting what you want by influencing others (some may call it manipulating).
Good office politics include raising your profile in the office and the industry you work in. Success at work depends on both results and ‘strategic’ relationships with, for example, your boss, your boss’s boss, the assistant of your boss’s boss, the human resource manager, IT department and of course the assistants of your clients and clients themselves. Be your boss’s eyes and ears. When you hear of something they may need to act upon, then it is your duty to let them know.
If you want to shine in your role, take a look at the training courses we offer at Bingo Traders. Designed specifically for EAs, PAs, Admins, Office Managers,… , these learning opportunities provide the skills and knowledge you’ll need to excel.
Sue France / Photo on Unsplash