Get Comfortable Playing Office Politics

by Lisa Zigarmi, Julie Diamond, and Lesli Mones

By now, it’s a tired refrain: Women, particularly women of color, are significantly outnumbered at the senior leadership level in organizations.

The causes of the leadership gender gap are numerous, as are its proposed solutions. One area of research points to differences concerning women’s response to office politics. Politics, broadly defined as the ability to successfully navigate the unwritten rules of how things get done and through whom, includes understanding the motivations of others and using this knowledge to enhance one’s personal interest and organizational objectives.

In our experience as psychologists and coaches, we have found that many women ...

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