How do you respond to politics at work?

How do you respond to political plotting? It may not be easy but it is necessary to contribute to more positive workplaces! And it’s something you can do, regardless of your role. Every interaction makes a difference.

Again, it’s important to acknowledge the others’ underlying need. It might be a need to bond with an ally or the need to control the issue.

The second step is just like with gossip: you do not engage.

Let me give a short example:

Bert could ask you to vote against Pete’s proposal in the next decision round.

Instead of agreeing, you could say: “I understand you don’t agree with Pete. I don’t feel comfortable deciding in advance before I’ve heard all his details at the next meeting.”

The other could imply that you are not supportive and say “Hey, I thought you were on my team?”
“I’m in favor of the best decision for the organization, Bert. I think you are a great colleague but that’s got nothing to do with Pete’s proposal.”

Try not to judge the other

Maybe Bert would negotiate: “Would you like me to back up your plan, next time?”
“Of course, I hope that you’ll support my plan. But please don’t if you do not believe in it. I value commitment because that will help me get it done.”

Or ask Bert a possibility-oriented question: “If you don’t like Pete’s proposal, could you offer Pete your assistance to improve it?”
Or: “What adjustments do you need to agree with Pete?”
“Why are your opposed to his plan? What could you do avoid those pitfalls?” and so on.

How do you respond to political plotting? Share on X

Try to not judge the other and refer to your personal values, your commitments to yourself, your priorities, and criteria. Stay calm and watch out for feeling superior because next time, you might feel the need to control an outcome and plot a scheme…

What are your experiences with plotting? I’d love to hear your examples!

This is book post #60 – Part “YOU”

Here‘s the earlier post
The next post will be up soon!

If you’re confused – please start with post #1 or check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.

By the way, if you want to contribute to a positive workplace culture, my next open workshop on Positive Culture Change Leadership is scheduled for May 2018! More information and registration is available on a first come first serve basis.

Leaders, employees, consultants, citizens – everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. This blog will help you see positive possibilities and (re)claim your positive agency. Unstuck yourself and engage others via your interaction and actions. Transform into a positive organization where people and performance thrive.

I’m blogging my next book: “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.” Your feedback is appreciated!

You can help me by liking, sharing, and commenting.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jutta

    Marcella, thank you, your last posts on gossip, politics at work and intimidation were incredibly helpful. Sharing them with my team as well!
    Keep it up and thanks again! 🙂

    1. Marcella Bremer

      Thank you for letting me know, Jutta. I’m so glad that my blog posts served you and your team!

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