Office Politics Is Just Influence by Another Name
“Most of us cringe when we think about office politics. It’s a disgusting, immoral mess that we try to avoid. After all, who wants to participate in backstabbing, lying, cheating, blaming, sucking up, and playing people against each other? Or maybe you take a slightly less offensive view of office politics and see it as controlling agendas, building covert alliances, protecting access to key leaders, and holding ‘meetings before the meeting.”’ No matter what your take, it’s not surprising that honest people don’t want to get involved.
But are politics at work inherently dirty?
The truth is that just being a member of an organization is a political act. And in fact, we must influence people at work all the time. It’s how we get things done. And to influence, we must have power, the real currency in workplaces. Most people want it. All of us need it. In healthy organizations, we “get” power, or are granted power, by virtue of our ability to inspire and provide vision. We also get power as a result of what we can do for people. In companies that value people and results, we are granted power because we help to create a vibrant climate and a resonant culture that is ripe with hope, enthusiasm, and a can-do spirit. In such companies power is used well – for the good of people and the enterprise.”