5 ways to successfully deal with politics in the workplace
You can be the best worker in the world, but that won’t get you promoted. If you’re looking to get ahead, you need to get political—as Cari Guittard knows.
Guittard is a Professor of Women’s Leadership, Corporate Diplomacy, and International Negotiations at Hult, and is intimately familiar with how politics can shape a corporate—and personal—career landscape.
In the webinar ‘The Future of Politics in the Workplace’, hosted by Invent Your Future Enterprises, Guittard and co-host Charlotte Beers discuss the importance of workplace politics, and the keys to successful navigation. Here are five key points Guittard and Beers discuss:
1. Politics is not a dirty word
“Most people have a very negative view of the term ‘politics’,” Guittard admits. But the key to finding your place in the corporate political landscape is to change your own perception of the term. For Guittard, politics is about three crucial things: influence, power, and leadership. And none of these should be viewed negatively.
2. Titles don’t tell all
“Don’t get caught up with titles,” says Beers. “Aim for influence.” While the meaning of titles can change and responsibilities get shifted, the power of influence is long-lasting. Building up your influence within your workspace means more than chasing a promotion for the sake of a better sounding title.
3. It’s a case of mind over matter
“Your mindset and how you view things is everything,” says Guittard. A key step in understanding and being able to fit into office politics is being able to learn and adapt—and a negative mindset hinders instead of helps. “Be open to learning and developing in a positive way,” she says.
4. Move away from modesty
“Be brave,” Beers insists. “Erase the word ‘modesty’ from your life.” The key is to claim your work as your own, and showcase what you can do. By advocating for yourself, you can better demonstrate your worth and set yourself up as a leader.
5. It’s all relative
“Find a way to be relevant in the moment, and find a commonality that you can use to develop a relationship,” says Guittard. Relationships are crucial to successfully building, nurturing, and leveraging social capital—which is what provides influence within all workplace politics. Make sure you’re building positive connections and showcasing yourself in the right light to build strong relationships.
To find out more, listen to the full webinar here.
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Mel Cloney is a staff blogger working in London, and is passionate about the Hult journey. Her writing focuses on faculty, academics, and student and alumni experiences. She’s a food, scuba, and running junkie with a penchant for all things French.
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