Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Frustrate Your Adversaries

Workplace politics has spawned many strategies. Here are some field-tested ones for frustrating your adversaries:

  1. Be courteous and friendly. They stabbed you in the back on that big project but are you going to let them get to you? They expect you to be upset or distant. You don't need to act like a pal but show elementary friendliness and courtesy. That will really make them nervous and you'll score points with others..
  2. Be fair. When they make a good point, acknowledge it. Don't let your feelings cloud your objectivity.
  3. Don't burn bridges, at least not on every single issue. Yesterday's adversary may be tomorrow's ally.
  4. Control your staff. They may hold harder feelings than you do. Tell them to be professional.
  5. Don't withhold information. If you have information which should be shared for the good of the organization, share it.
  6. Don't be a bumpkin. The fact that you are being friendly doesn't mean that you are going to forget how they operate. Use appropriate safeguards.
  7. Don't gossip about their behavior. Other people don't want to be dragged into your disputes. The more you badmouth your adversaries, the less noble you appear. 
A final point: Avoid being consumed by hard feelings. Remember the old saying, "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."

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