How to Win at Office Politics

When you’re able to win at office politics, promotions come more readily. You enjoy more money, higher status within the office, you are given more of a voice and tend to have better interpersonal relationships. Often, those who are more politically savvy at work do better than those who are more intelligent, hard working or even qualified.

While some people seem naturally adept at making friends and influencing others, some of us have to work at office politics. Even though it doesn’t happen overnight, you can achieve a significant positive change in your ability to navigate and be successful with others at work – here’s how:

1) Stay away from manipulative co-workers:

At work, there will be some co-workers who are controlling and seem to want to run over anyone who gets in their way. These people often know how to push others’ buttons and the emotions they stir up in others make those people look disoriented and unprofessional when it’s not them in the wrong. One of the best ways to win in the political game is to steer clear of these people.

If it’s not possible, then you maintain professionalism and expect the same in return. When you feel that you are being manipulated or are being wronged by these people, politely set boundaries.

READ MORE: Which Type of Office Worker are You?

2) Speak no bad of people:

Making enemies is one of the worst ways to win at the office politics game – the easiest way to make people resent you is to speak badly about them.

While there are some corporate cultures who are full of people who are critical of one another, learn to rise above it. People who dislike you will go out of their way to block you from reaching your goals.

3) Speak in terms of other people’s interests:

At both work and in life, people are too concerned with what they want. Well, if everyone is out to satisfy their own needs, you are more likely to get co-operation around the office if you talk in terms of their benefits.

The most effective individuals at corporate politics know what interests each other individual at the firm. They know which employees want to make a difference and which ones want to simply do their job and go home for the day. They handle the two differently and play to their desires.

4) Appreciate other people – in a sincere manner:

People who are effective at office politics are not always taking actions towards getting what they want. As a matter of fact, these individuals are some of the least-selfish individuals in the office.

They know how to make other people feel important. One of the deepest needs human beings have, either at work or at home, is the need to feel appreciated. When people act in a manner that goes against this desire, they are well on their way to creating a roadblock to success.

In the End:

Even as the business world always changes, the tactics to gain corporate favor around the office remain consistent.  Part of being successful is being able to integrate effectively within a working group.

There are both right and wrong ways to do so. The individuals who learn how to thrive in a political corporate environment are going to be worth more money and, on a personal level, are going to have heightened interpersonal relationships and better persuasion skills.

By Ken Sundheim

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement, a sales and marketing executive search firm based out of New York City. He is also a writer for Forbes. Follow Ken on Twitter @Ken_Sundheim.