I am as naieve as you can get. I take people at their word and assume everyone has the best intentions and try to do what’s best for the company . However a coworker recently filled me in on the jockeying that’s going on and how I am being used as a sort of pawn to my detriment. How do I get better at this ?
TOP 194 Comments
- T-Mobile just addDon't get into it. The guy telling you could be the one detrimental. Usually the ones who say they're telling you as a "friend" are the most dangerous ones. Have a job ready when you feel the water is coming up. You'll learn with time through observation on what's going on.
- Oath BobBuilderI'm far from an expert on this but here's my take. Treat everyone with respect at a minimum and aim for friendship -it's really a win win exchange if you can trust your coworkers and vice versa. If they choose not to reciprocate, they'll eventually dig themselves a hole.
Beyond that I think you have to learn how to convince people to help you when you need it. This can be things like helping them proactively so they reciprocate, or doing as much as you can yourself and showing you made an honest effort but need help with xyz, convincing them of the need, or sometimes roping in the right people.
Finally, regarding you mentioning you're being used as a pawn- assess the situation. If you mean you're stuck with a lot of menial tasks, discuss with your manager. If you're willing to take on tasks that other people don't want to do but with support from leadership, that's actually a good thing for your career (at least at lower levels). If they're claiming credit for your efforts and are higher ranked, sometimes they will help you out in the future. If you're stuck with things that are menial and unimportant, that's when I would say you need to actually stand up for yourself.
Honestly I think when people refer to politics it's really quite synonymous with career growth and not this complicated social dance. It really comes down to can you pick up skills to be effective in a bureaucratic environment? Aka can you do your job effectively?
- Suck up to the stakeholders who control your destiny and befriend (especially outside the workplace) the high performers in your organization.
In my experience, office politics are more about being perceived as a high performer by those above you than anything else.
- I mean, maybe if you don't have any integrity. If you have to "suck up" to someone in order for it to advance your career, they are probably a fairly ineffective leader. They make decisions based on how well individuals make them look vs. how to deliver the best business results for the company. This perpetuates and incentivizes the toxic culture of people ONLY being in it for themselves when it's well documented that you need teamwork to build great things. My career has probably moved slower because I refuse to do this, but my integrity is important to me.
- @SLmG30 I disagree that sucking up necessarily has anything to do with a lack of integrity. Asking for more responsibility, if there are additional tasks you can help with, suggesting organizational or process improvements, etc can all be "sucking up" but are in no way bad things.
- I have a fairly narrow definition of sucking up. Agreeing with everything your manager says, kissing ass, unnecessary flattery, and other such bullshit. I also put CONSISTENTLY working extra hours. Obviously everyone needs to put in a late night or two, but if you're doing it more than twice a week, you're probably contributing to a problem.
- Salesforce SadforceIs it jockeying for projects, titles, adoption, getting you to do all work without any of the credit? You might want to explain what people are striving for, then others can tell you what to do.
Very generally speaking, at the end of the day honesty wins all wars. My biggest advice is to document who is doing what and when, then when someone gives you trouble, you show them facts. I always get people off my back by saying stuff like, as a shareholder, xyz is detrimental, spend your time doing abc instead.
- Gigamon / EngchitchormoreDont do it. Lets make world better place one person at a time. Incompetent people do politics.
- What do you want your life to amount to in the end ?
If u become good at scheming and manipulating, you will be given more of it. Do you really want it?
I recently tried my hand at it; became decent and was given more of it ... eventually I said I am not interested in this.
Also, people are usually smart to smell this a mile away ... nothing worthwhile or innovative ever got done this way ... only encourages more mediocrity.
My advice is ... learn to detect it, protect yourself, deflect it but don’t get into the mid ... life is too short
Luckily we are in an industry with good salaries and enough startups that you can keep moving around ...
- Fuck politics, practice humility and authenticity instead and you will always come out ontop. Maybe not in the classical sense, however you will have peace of mind.
- Samsung beyondsWhy the heck people want to "get better at office politics ". Life is short to deal with this bullshit. Just get out of that place.
- It's about understanding people's motivations and perceptions. You will not be able to get it until you worked in the organization for some time and went to many meetings. It almost never what it seems.
I remember working on one project in one of my previous jobs. Fixing some very complex scalability problems. This project was mission critical and was massive pain for everyone for years. I brought new ideas and fixed some serious bottlenecks. Everyone told me that I'm doing God's work and it will be awesome when it will be fixed. Management told me that they are ready to remove any roadblocks.
You would think that launching it would be easy.
WRONG. I magically started getting all kinds of technical problems. Basic infrastructure started magically failing and people in charge of it were no where to be found. People, who promised me help with the integration somehow forgot all about it and got extremely "busy".
Morons built their career around managing this broken mess. I was sabotaged by the same people, who offered me help and support.
- Google / EngrRPD43The 48 Laws of Power https://www.amazon.com/dp/0140280197/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_csTLCb1P3BK0V
- Microsoft tuip33If your manager does not have your back, you need to change. Otherwise, be nice to people, help them out, and make sure you get your stuff done. Aim to exceed expectations, and you will be recognized.
However, this all depends on your manager not being a credit hog or an ahole.
- Homeaway ppMg64Because not all wars are winnable. Sometimes not taking action is the best course of action.
I call it strategic retreat. Why fight when all you have on your side is a point-of-view. Usually if things calm down on their own, no ones feelings get hurt and it’s business as usual. If the other person truly decides to escalate, it’s then you fight. Cause then it’s a fight for survival. If you are seen as someone who can be easily rolled over, people will walk all over you.
You may get some negative feedback during reviews, and that’s why it’s important that your manager provides air cover. In the end, s/he needs to defend you during perf review. Most managers have the discretion to omit or disregard a feedback. But they can’t do that if it’s consistently negative. That’s the reason you need to pick and choose battles. Fight the ones that are truly important and let the other guy/gal win the ones where only your pride is hurt and not much else
- Do not strike before you are really sure the blow will crush your enemies’ worthless spines.
- Johnson & Johnson dbxy11You need to understand lion daily wakeup and hunt many deer. If deer feel lion going to change than its deer misconception. Either deer need to develop running and hiding skill in such a way that it is impossible to catch him or learn from lion those hunting skill and fight back or make a friendship with elephant . But personnel experience running away from politics will not work . Too much politics is not the place to work .
- The other side of "If you can't beat them, join them" is basically losing your integrity. My TC has probably grown slower than this. But I've built a brand of incredible integrity. I have leaders who trust me implicitly because I've consistently focused on delivering business value and prioritize that far and above over who gets credit. When me or my team makes a mistake, we own it and are completely transparent. As soon as I have a leader that starts telling me to "we shouldn't have communicated that mistake, it makes us look bad", I start looking for a new leader.Mar 243
- I would say, build an informal network (opposed to formal org structure). Help people across departments, genuinely want to help and all of a sudden, politics will fall your way
- This is how I learned heh. I joined a smaller marketing agency where I was part of the "in" group by merit of our team's small size. My first year there, I built an incredibly successful (worth several million dollars) marketing program, received a significant raise at 6 months and an award at 9 for being a top performer. I wasn't that social outside of work, and at about the one year mark, another top performer started recruiting a bunch of his friends to the company and I found myself on the outside of the "in" group. I noticed my manager started becoming more cold towards me, yet was very friendly towards the other guy and all of his friends. At 1.5 years, I was terminated for reasons they wouldn't specify.
- Databricks Vksmwa1) understand *why* politics exist in the first place (hint: people are driven by a multitude of things, but usually money, power and influence)
2) use your newfound knowledge of the political dynamics to determine motives for all parties involved
3) choose whether you wish to play into or against those perceived motives and how - the more people involved, the more complex these decisions become
4) start acting on them
5) evaluate the effects of your actions (e.g. whether your hypotheses were right about dynamics and effects)
6) repeat steps 3-5
- New / MgmtjerseyboymorePractice, practice, practice. My job is now 70% politics, 30% technics now
- Microsoft true-dohCute. Lol. Pretend you have no ego even if you really do. This can be done by smiling at people who you know are assholes. Don't do more socializing in the office then is needed. Playing politics isn't fun and you want to try to minimize interaction with those who do play it.
- You need to mark your territory bigger. Pee on everyone's chairs and bite anyone that complains. Be the alpha dawg
- GE QdQr41Ultimately it’s just knowing others weaknesses. Recognize them and exploit. Do it wrapped in humility and be nice to everyone to a fault. Fill every gap
- General Motors / EngBuyForeignRemove emotion from your work.
Realize everyone is looking for the next raise and promotion. Some people will throw you into the fire when money is on the line.
Have your bosses back and they’ll (typically) have your back. If you make them look good your chances of getting a nice raise goes up.
Make your name known and your impact known. People will try to steal credit for what you’ve done but just move onto something bigger and better.
Don’t be known as someone who only does grunt work.
- Salesforce twinpeaks(1) don't think of the people you work with as opponents
Don't lose the faith you have in people, don't let corporate america make you jaded. Understand people act the way they do because they're backed in to a corner, don't know how else to act, etc. Maybe the people "using" you are overworked, exhausted from raising kids and cutthroat job, etc.
Understand people are people. Forgive them for acting immature, but hold your ground and respect your own time and work first. But also try to understand why they may be acting the way they are- come at it from an open and honest angle.
- Capital One Barry42There are jerks in the industry, I experienced this for past 12 months, changed gigs. KARMA is a BI***, all good times and bad times have an end and folks who indulge in this activity will get their share sooner or later!!
- Also remember to never ever admit guilt or apologize. Either own it, deflect and use what-about-ism or counter it in an aggressive manner.
Giving an apology won’t help you move forward; it’ll give your opponents and peers a perpetual way to twist the wound. They’ll bring it up months or years afterwards.
- Lyft VNCX76Politics gets too much of a bad name.
If by it you mean to forget your principals, be a yes-man, and try to exploit and destroy people. Yes, fuck that. Don't engage and get out.
But if you mean to build a strong ground game, to be persuasive, and to have real connections with people so you can rely on each other, it can be a real differentiator in your career.
If you learn how to do the latter and act in good faith, you'll win in the long run.
- Google gorrilla86Reading through the first several top threads and this hasn't been said.
If you have to ask "how do I win with people?" You've already lost. Bottom line: focus on you, and your team. I suck at organization hierarchy because I don't care about it. Focus on what you care about. Like driving, when you focus on the point somewhere down the road, the rest follows suit.
- Fareportal / EngLyBD31moreRead art of war, show strong relations with important people in the company that will make you look strong also dont try to attack all your rivals at the same time , take your time you will see they will finish each other enjoy it
dont argue with stupid people dont curse or get angry , always try to say fuck you without using the fuck word that will make the incompetent ones extra nervous and feel stupid
you need to understand jealousy has no cure read able and kane
dm me i will give you moee tips
- Amazon mafnwjfMy biggest lesson was that while the education system teaches us to optimize for a score card where the rules are clearly stated upfront and you just follow those rules to get excellent grades, in the offices there are actually very few rules.
Rules are made up for junior engineers but as you go higher up you realize that these rules are just made by up a bunch of normal people with normal families.
There are like you and me, except they have had this key realization that they are there to solve people’s problems, just exist and enjoy their union.
Notice I used “people’s problem”, not “technological problems”. Technology is just a vehicle to solve people’s problems. And by people I mean other people in the organization
This was a shock to me. Even things that seemingly should be purely technological and market oriented were driven primarily by people’s needs.
People who care immensely about technology and technological purity find this very absurd and depressing.
But once you agree to this thesis, you realize that there is no perfect software for a reason, why tech debt always exists, why every architecture is a compromise and why despite keeping all circumstances same except the people involved the technical solution varies immensely.
Also titles, promotion etc are just tools used to get things done and there is no inherent meaning. Companies can and do change the qualification bar from tile to time to meet their own needs.
So get into the habit of caring more about people instead of technology (or even the same amount), care about making their life better and yours will automatically become better.
- Coupa mayday100Haven’t read all the comments... so sure... let’s weigh in...
You say you are naive... but you are posting on blind... so kudos to you.
Taking people at their word is not a detriment... it’s an asset... have them follow through until they break their promises. Then learn from that.
Everyone is different, so don’t extrapolate what some of the few do to the many (that is true for the good and for the bad).
Lastly... if you feel you are in a toxic culture... get the fuck out.
- Step 1. Get out, it’s probably even worse than he’s letting on. Step 2 be mindful, stop thinking everyone has the best intentions, they don’t. Step 3. It’s a dog eat dog world no matter what anyone says and no one is going to take care of you better than you. Step 4 . Realize that this happens more or less everywhere. Some places are more tolerable to deal with than others.