Corporate Survival… How to manage yourself in the political playing field!

In my first … job, I had high … that … … on a solid work ethic and quality … I wanted to aim for thetop and make it happen. … my ideas of cor

In my first corporate job,Corporate Survival… How to manage yourself in the political playing field! Articles I had high expectations that promotions were
based on a solid work ethic and quality production. I wanted to aim for the
top and make it happen. Unfortunately, my ideas of corporate environment
were inaccurate. As a grunt, an engineer, and a manager, the games, turf
wars, and political thrashings taught me numerous incredible lessons. In
the end, I made it to where I wanted to be, but not without bruises,
scrapes, and experience.

Now, people come to me with problems that they have within their companies
or on their job. They want to learn how they can overcome a situation or
better adapt to make it within their companies. For instance, one employee
lost out on a promotion because the person in charge favored another person.
In such situations, you have to look at both sides. Of course, the scorned
employee was upset as his credentials exceeded the promoted employee’s.
But, when we examined the other side of the coin, one of the prominent
actions performed by the promoted employee was that he publicly supported
the boss. If you remove emotion from the situation, and apply some
“poli-think,” it made sense, according to the manager’s needs.

You can either fight it, or you can learn how to make it work for you. I’m
not condoning politics nor am I saying that you should use political tactics
in your everyday life, as this is not only exhausting, but it also takes
away from your work and personal time. But, if you can understand your
corporate culture and its politics, you can better learn how to handle the
situations that are placed before you instead of becoming stressed or

— The Corporate Culture —

When you enter Corporate America, you have two choices: dig in, go with the
punches, and make it into the inner circle, or you can hang back and just do
your job. Both postures are very necessary elements of corporate life and
both are just as difficult. It all depends on what you want out of your

* The Corporate Being

A Corporation is a living, breathing, and growing entity. It changes on an
irregular basis, adapts to its environment, and sometimes performs acts that
seem almost ludicrous. In this way, a corporation is very much like a human

You, as a part of this being, must learn how it grows and changes. Most of
the time, this information is not evident. However, part of the task of
becoming a viable asset to this being is to look beyond the surface and find
out where things are going. In this way, you can position yourself to be a
positive part of the growth and change.

Many of the political situations that occur within a corporation are a
result of this growth and change. These changes cause incredible stress for
some individuals; however, the stress can be overcome by not fighting the
politics and learning the culture of the organization. You will learn that
many of these situations have valid political reasons for why they occur.

Learning the corporate culture is an important step in managing the stresses
associated with any job. Take some time to observe the culture at your
office. This will not only give you an idea as to how to handle yourself,
but it will also help you learn how to handle others.

* Culture Shock

A corporate culture is a set of behaviors and rules that people use to
manage their interactions. These include formal company policies and
informal rules that you learn through experience. Many times, management
will not tell you the informal rules of the office, but they will use your
ability to adapt and learn as a sign of how well you handle yourself.
Additionally, behaving in an inappropriate manner for the culture could risk
your being labeled as uncooperative by your coworkers.

In any situation, you should analyze the culture, and, if necessary, change
your habits accordingly to minimize stress. To evaluate your corporate
culture, you should consider various important aspects of the environment.
For instance, communication style, teamwork, chain of command, appearance,
management roles, interoffice friendships, politics, individual attitudes,
and general workspace environment are important elements to pay attention to
so that you can better acclimate to the environment.

After you’ve learned the culture of your workplace, you should see how it
matches your personal style and expectations. To help prevent workplace
stress, it’s likely that you’ll have to adjust some of your own habits. Of
course, you should not stifle your originality or become an
indistinguishable android. With an understanding of your workplace culture,
you can make informed choices about your behavior and work habits, and
prevent stressful situations and conflicts.

— Corporate Games —

Before you can understand corporate games in the workplace, you must
understand one, core definition of the games: a corporate game is an
illegitimate means of getting things done. It is a way that people twist
and turn situations to reach a specific goal. However, those people that
don’t play, risk their careers.

Improperly managing power and politics can make or break your career, cause
many sleepless nights, and often has very little to do with your actual job
duties. Many people who fail in their jobs do so because of political
problems, not skill deficiencies. Many intelligent and capable people
aren’t as successful as they might be because they haven’t learned to cope
with office politics. Understanding why you might be having difficulty at
work involves understanding the basic elements of office politics and why it

* Politics

Politics and political maneuvering is the interpersonal conflicts and power
plays that exist in most organizations. Among the specific actions commonly
associated with office politics are intimidation, indirect communications,
covert tactics for advancement, manipulation for control, indirectly telling
the truth, hiding vulnerability issues, and playing for favors.

Some companies are better than others in the amount of political activity
required to do a job. In some companies, playing corporate politics is the
only job you have the time to develop. In others, it is only slightly
important. Politics is part of the corporate culture of every organization
and it’s important to understand how it plays into your organization.

* Why does it exist?

Politics came about as a way of handling intense competition. Generally,
business itself is a competitive game ranging from simple tests of skill to
full-blown battles. The game is driven by survival conditions induced by an
expanding world market in which companies must continue to change and grow.
There’s a constant challenge to overwhelm the opposition, reduce costs, and
acquire additional resources. All of these attributes trickle down through
the ranks to cause individual battles for promotions, rewards, and
recognition at all costs.

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