Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
2,500,000 members. Thank you!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-01-2009, 12:11 PM
 
943 posts, read 3,146,530 times
Reputation: 719

Advertisements

One of tasks I do as Human Resources Manager is perform exit interviews on departing employees. I talk to nearly everyone who leaves the company including if possible people who are fired. I like to hear the observations of everyone.

Studies have shown that most managers will fail. It is a lot easier to hold on to a data entry job than a supervisory or management position. When you move into management you have to have unique skills in supervision and influence. Your people skills have to be used to sell ideas, and get people to do things for you that they may disagree with.

In other words most managers have to play office politics. So many people tell me that they will not play office politics and their hard work should stand for itself. That sounds good in theory but unless you have skills in working with people with conflicting needs and approaches and have an abilty to sell your ideas, your career as a manager will be short.

Do you know how to play positive and negative office politics? Tell us how you play the game?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-01-2009, 02:01 PM
 
8,518 posts, read 15,583,029 times
Reputation: 7711
Most people are not cut out for management jobs, even though they think are. I've had managers who were smart, but never motivated me to want to do my best work for them. I've had other managers who weren't nearly as smart as they thought they were and would often feel threatened by someone who had a better idea. I've also seen managers who showed favoritism. And I've had managers who just didn't have the temperament required. Instead of staying calm in a crisis, they let themselves get worked up and that just created tension for the entire team.

But when I think of office politics, I don't think of the people skills that managers must employ to get things done. I think of the alliances and conflicts that actually impede goals from being achieved. Examples include the manager who always favors the idea of his friend instead of just picking the best idea or the manager who doesn't get along with another department head and tries to make him look bad, even when it's at the expense of his company's goals. So I think when people tell you they don't want to play office politics, what they really mean is they don't want to stab people in the back, lie, or waste a lot of time selling their ideas when it's clear the audience has a hidden agenda.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 02:10 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 21,996,693 times
Reputation: 4772
Office politics usually involve some old biddy in a company or department and learning how to 1) dodge her poison arrows of slander/gossip or 2) befriend her (or pretend to) and just go along with whatever...

I have to say that most places I worked at have 'some woman' who causes trouble (again usually some bitter older woman who wants to be the big fish in a small pond.). Most men do not give a damn about "Betty's hat" or "Maryanne's horrible choice of radio stations.'

I wish all these women (and I am a woman) would just get swallowed up by the earth or something and get out of the workforce because they just make women look stupid, feeble, and 'mindless and catty.'

So, maybe your fired employee didn't want to be part (as the poster above me said) of this climate. At my husband's last job before we moved, one nasty woman caused 99% of the problems at the place.

She should have been fired, but instead about 10 people quit over the course of time (or were fired) thanks to her meddling.

My advice about 'politics.' Shut up and do not spread gossip. Be friendly and polite to your co-workers. Try to find someone you fit in with (but be yourself).

Avoid the toxic people at your job.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 02:11 PM
 
13,811 posts, read 27,277,822 times
Reputation: 14244
I don't play office politics nor do I have to. I show up, do my job, and go home.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 02:58 PM
 
943 posts, read 3,146,530 times
Reputation: 719
Default PLay office politics in management or die

That is possible only in the most routine of jobs. If you spend your entire day alone entering data or filing or sorting documents. But as soon as you need the assistance and agreement of others you have no real power over the office politics starts.

If you try to ignore the office politics it will eat you alive. That is what happened to the guy who was fired due to lack of workplace survival skills. He ignored the politics and he was not able to get his ideas implemented. He was fired and replaced by someone who knows how to play the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
I don't play office politics nor do I have to. I show up, do my job, and go home.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:11 PM
 
5,524 posts, read 9,900,806 times
Reputation: 1867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
That is possible only in the most routine of jobs. If you spend your entire day alone entering data or filing or sorting documents. But as soon as you need the assistance and agreement of others you have no real power over the office politics starts.

If you try to ignore the office politics it will eat you alive. That is what happened to the guy who was fired due to lack of workplace survival skills. He ignored the politics and he was not able to get his ideas implemented. He was fired and replaced by someone who knows how to play the game.
So as an HR manager you allow this behavior to continue within your organization?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,084 posts, read 12,004,077 times
Reputation: 4125
No one is ever going to get away from politics any time you have more then yourself to deal with, it's a fact of life. It often gets a bad name because people only associate it with gossip and snarking, but it's a much broader topic of getting along with people, having a good people support structure, and influencing their decisions to something more favorable to your best interests.

I usually play positive office politics, making sure I'm well liked, good reputation, making those around me look good, and helping when I can. It always comes back to help me when I need it, I have friends and people to help throughout the institution. However, I am not adverse to playing nasty when it's necessary. Not just to be a jerk, there is always a reason, but the same techniques can be used to get rid of some real ****heads who were making my life miserable.

Being able to do it, and doing well at it, has made my personal and professional life better and more successful. I don't have to work as hard because I have people I can call in favors from, I have great maneuverability when something bad comes up, and I can manipulate situations to become more positive for me that many others might just give up.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 04:01 PM
 
8,518 posts, read 15,583,029 times
Reputation: 7711
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
I don't play office politics nor do I have to. I show up, do my job, and go home.
I used to do this. But I realized that it pays to cultivate friendships at work. When times are tough and they're trying to decide who to lay off or who to blame for something gone wrong, you need people to back you up. If you're the type who just puts his head down and does his work, you'll be all alone during the bad times.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 06:35 PM
 
2,712 posts, read 5,333,112 times
Reputation: 6181
I think when you enter the mid-levels of management you have a lot of people to answer to and many of the rank and file believe that when you come down on the side of those above you, you are participating in office politics.

The fact is, once you are management, you are sometimes uncomfortably sandwiched between people you direct and supervise on a daily basis and upper management. I do not think that many people are cut out for such a situation because it can cause intense stress trying to balance the two and please everyone; something that's rarely accomplished.

In my job, I deal with the highest levels of management and simply convey to them the needs, the cost of fulfilling those needs and my reasons why they should be purchased/implemented. I give them all of the information they require in a very matter of fact way and they make a decision. There are times when I am given the authority to decide these things but they need to be in the loop throughout the implementation (which is as it should be).

The term "office politics" in my mind conjures up images of employees bad mouthing their manager because he or she agreed on a particular issue with upper management and therefore are somehow "kissing ass" for their own gain.

I have no doubt that this happens more often than not since people by nature are simply out for themselves, but I'm sure there are plenty of managers out there who try their best to keep everyone happy. Unfortunately, that usually doesn't work.

Last edited by cleasach; 07-01-2009 at 06:58 PM.. Reason: left out an "of"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,793 posts, read 6,097,803 times
Reputation: 1613
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
I don't play office politics nor do I have to. I show up, do my job, and go home.
You can do that for a while. Or in certain jobs like data entry. But your skills are replacable. After 5 years of giving you a raise they realize they can give the same job to a college grad for much less money.

Office politics suck. Especially in a large corporation. Ugh. I have to deal with it every day. But it is a way of life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top