A checklist for dealing with people who are playing politics.

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.   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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

To learn more about workplace politics, email mike@cfod.com.au or info@cfod.com.au.

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