How to Survive Office Politics

This video I give you some tips on office politics. Watch now!

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I am making this video, especially for Millennials. I am sure I will get some angry comments for this, but I am going to be brutally honest with you. In my experience, Millennials tend to be pretty bad at dealing with office politics. It is like they do not understand what is going on. There are two reasons for this. 1) They have spent so much time behind computer screens that they have not had as much practice at face to face interaction, but more importantly 2) No one has ever told them how office politics works. There is no class in business school on office politics. So we are going to talk about it today.

Let us start with the big complaint. You will hear people complaining about office politics, and it is usually combined with an argument about fairness. Someone might have got a promotion or a raise because they are friends with the boss. So people blame office politics.

Complaining is never a productive activity. If you are frustrated with office politics, what you need to do is take a step back and understand how office politics works. Because I am telling you right now, office politics is part of business. So if you want to be a part of the business world, you need to figure it out.

So let me explain what is going on with office politics. Every business has some sort of performance evaluation process. This is the process that bosses use to hand out raises, promotions, or other benefits. All businesses are going to have different performance evaluation processes. Different businesses are going to value different things. But all evaluations are going to fall into three main categories:
• Seniority
• Performance
• Likeability

Seniority describes how long you have been at your job. A person with 20 years experience is more valuable than someone with 1 year of experience.
Performance describes how good you are at your job. Even if you are only at a job for 1 year, you might be a superstar at delivering results. That would give you a high performance rating.

Likeability describes emotional intelligence. This talks about how well you interact with others in your team. Do your team members like you? If your teammates do not like you, it does not matter how good you are at your job, you are not going to get a promotion.

Office politics is this third category of likeability. Do your team mates like you? It is really that simple. Most people understand seniority and performance. Those are easy, numerical metrics you can define. But likeability is more difficult to put a number on. It is this fluffy category about human relationships.

But office politics does not have to be confusing. It is very simple. Are you likeable? Are you respectful, nice, and honest? Do you follow through on your word? Are you careful with other people’s emotions? Are you understanding?

I am going to try and be as specific as possible. You have to get to know your co-workers as people, and let them get to know a little bit about you. Whenever your work holds a team member gathering or networking event, make sure you are there. Talk to people. Find out what is going on in their life. You cannot just come into work, ignore your co-workers, and expect to be part of a high functioning team. It does not work that way. You are part of a community.

Likeability is important. Out of the three categories you are judged on, I would say likeability is the most important. If you find yourself fighting with your co-workers, swearing at people at work, or making others uncomfortable, you are not going to get far in your career. I am just telling you what I have seen in Corporate America. The people who rise up the corporate ladder, are very likeable people. They might not even be the highest performing people, but they are very high in likeability.

One thing you have to be cautious about. I am not saying that you have to be a pushover. I never advocate that you should do things just so people will like you. That is also bad. You are going to have to figure out how to have the balance of standing up for yourself, but also being likeable.

One last point… It also does not matter how good you are at office politics, sometimes you are going to win, and sometimes you are going to lose. That is just life. Sometimes people will stand up for you, and support you. But sometimes, people are going to stab you in the back. You cannot prevent losing out to office politics sometimes. I would encourage you not to get caught up in it. What you can do is control your own actions, and make sure you are focusing on your own likeability. In the long term, you will be surprised at the difference it makes.

Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!

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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance Inc. shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.

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