Workplace politics is a tactic used by people in order to get what they want and get ahead of others. It is a reality. If you want to be successful in your organisation you need to know how to be politically savvy. Workplace politics is not good or bad, you can work in a blast furnace if you have an asbestos suit this questionnaire could be your asbestos suit.

1 . What is the issue/situation?

    • In the overall scheme of things how important is this to me?
    • What is REALLY going on?
    • Why am I really concerned?
    • What is the worst that could happen?
    • How long has this been going on?

2. Who is involved?

    • Who will the activity/outcome affect apart from me?
    • Do I fully understand all the people ramifications?
    • What might others reactions be if I do something/nothing?
    • Has anyone else had this problem in the past? Who else do I need to involve?
    • Whose support do I need to get?

3. What do I know about the other party?

    • Is it me, my position or my boss they are working against?
    • What are they really motivated by?
    • What real evidence do I have?
    • How can I obtain confirmation of my suspicions?
    • What might be driving their behaviour?
    • Is there a hidden agenda?
    • Are they working to their own or the organisation’s objectives?
    • How much support do they have; a lot or only a little?
    • And who?
    • Have they done this to someone else before?
    • Do I like them?

4. Am I part of the problem?

    • Am I seen as a soft touch or too nice?
    • Is it because I am difficult to deal with?
    • Could it be that my motives or behaviour has been misunderstood?
    • Could it be revenge for something I once did?
    • Have I been associated with someone else who is the real target?
    • Do we communicate effectively?
    • How effective am I at influencing?

5. What should my strategy be?

    • Am I really sure there is a need to do something?
    • How will I go about it?
    • Is there a sequence to be followed?
    • How soon do I need to start?
    • Should I approach them directly, or work with/through others?
    • Who do I need to alert/get onside/build alliances with?
    • Are there alternative approaches that are less risky?

If you want to know more about work politics, join us in our Positive Organisational Politics on 25 November 2015. Click here for more information.