How to Deal with Office Politics

by Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback

“I don’t care who they are. I won’t buddy up to people I don’t like and respect just because I want something from them.”

These are the words of a Fortune 500 senior manager, but we hear similar comments from managers at all levels, in all types of companies. Perhaps you feel the same way.

Do you dismiss most of the give-and-take in organizations as “office politics”—ego-driven, manipulative, dysfunctional game playing? Do you tend to focus on your own group and deal with others only when you like them personally or the immediate work requires it? If this describes your approach, you’re probably making yourself and your group less effective than you should be.

Every organization ...

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