Surviving office politics:swimming with the Sharks

In almost all work situations, there are some office politics. When there are humans involved there is politics. This happens even in families. The game of influencing, threatening, pressuring, convincing, and yielding or complying be it soft or hard are always present in human interactions. Some years ago, I had the chance of attending an enlightening lecture by a Belgian author, Jean Jacques Creve Coeur who wrote “Relations & jeux de pouvoir”.

I have traveled fairly well in this path in my work career. As a junior, I yielded more easily, sometimes I gave in unconsciously. At the start, I was often a door mat: I would not react either out of fear or timidity or out of not wanting to create waves. As I grew older and when I acquired more experience and responsibilities in the working environment, my level of awareness of “office politics” also increased. I have learned how to discern the office politics and how to be saved from situation before it gets out of hand.

In the nutshell, I learned when and how to play with the sharks without being eaten by them. I practiced the art of turning an unavoidable evil into a source of information for better understanding and better informed actions. Just like rumors, one needs to know which part of it is false (intoxication) and which part has a base of truth. Who are the guys spreading the rumors and for what purpose is the propaganda? Who are the initiators, designers and who are the unconscious carriers of the rumors?

I always thought that if I was made aware of the intricacies of “office politics” well ahead, I would have acted in some cases better. “Un homme avisé en vaut deux”. Can one attend a seminar on the subject?

As a matter of interest, at least those who might be swimming with some sharks now, I like to share with you a power point presentation on the theme. May the PowerPoint get you to think and be warned ahead?


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