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By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Office Politics: Do You Have to Play?

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Have you ever sworn that you would never engage in office politics? It’s hard to blame you. Politics is dirty, self-serving, and underhanded, right? Well—not really. Sometimes it can be, but that’s a comment about the nature of the leadership team, not politics.

In this week’s first tip, I show you why politics in and of itself is neither good nor bad. It’s like any form of communication; it depends on how you use it. Let’s be clear: You should be politically active. You can be ethical, kind, and virtuous, but you do need to learn to play politics.

Learning when to speak up, how to speak up, how to frame issues, whom to address, and when to just be quiet are all highly valuable career skills. Most importantly—they can all be used positively, to strategically advance towards your goals.

The second tip this week concerns another vital social skill: knowing when and how to stir up needed debate. It’s one thing to recognize when people are censoring themselves, and that more candor is needed. It’s another to successfully ignite that conversation without unnecessarily damaging relationships.

Positive communication is congenial, but it can also be tough. You can be positive while engaging politics and creating debate. Start watching now to learn how, and come back next Wednesday for more Management Tips.

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