Sometimes it can seem hard to gain support behind your office projects, but don’t throw in the towel so early. Some of the key aspects of gaining support are building relationships with the staff, making allies that can give you a boost, and not being afraid to show others what you have to offer. Using honest and ‘good’ politics cannot only gain support for any project you may be carrying, but will propel your career forward without burning bridges behind you.
Gain Trust Through Honesty
A manager that instills confidence and mutual trust creates an office environment that holds to high standards and clear ethics. Although office politics can make some people think of terms like deception and trickery. Keep in mind that honesty and trust will provide a more powerful and lasting benefit to the employee and propel their career further. Don’t lie or cover up recent mistakes you might have made. Be open about steps you’ve had to take to correct situations. When asked for statistics or reports for your project, offer them freely. It’s important to build trusting relationships that people can depend on to gain support over time. Relationships built on dishonesty and misguidances do not hold up.
- Be polite an honest with coworkers.
- Be open with others and don’t be afraid to ‘tell it like it is” rather than beat around the bush.
- Don’t use deception and lies, or ‘bad’ politics to get ahead.
Being assertive can often be misconstrued as being mean or just being a jerk. But belittling, intimidating or trying to control those that could very well help you will cause trouble in the office and will cause you to lose others’ respect. Being assertive requires one to be confident without being aggressive. Don’t be afraid to say what you want or need, and as long you do it tactfully and respectfully. If your answer is no, don’t give up right away. Regroup and rethink what you need to do in order to go for your goal.
- Be confident, but not arrogant.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection or criticism.
- State what you want or intend to gain. Don’t beat around the bush or use smoke and mirrors.
Blow Your Own Horn
One of the best ways to gain support for your cause is to let others know what you have accomplished or what you can bring to the table in the future. Be cautious of the fine line between blowing your horn and downright bragging or being boastful. When speaking with those who can potentially give the support you need, subtly add in some of your recent successes or a good comment made on your last evaluation. Once they see your value and potential, you will have more people on your side next time you present your case in a staff meeting. Keep your comments truthful and realistic. Be sure not to just make up great things to say – those that want to back you will most likely check their facts first.
Don’t underestimate the power and value of having allies not only in your department, but other departments as well. To win them over, take time to learn how you can help and contribute with your time. Staying on good terms with different department heads can put you right in the middle of the networking movement in the company, and allow you to tap into every department when needed. This also allows you to not only build credibility, but strong office alliances that will prove very helpful.
- Alliances are not built overnight. Be committed.
- Offer your time to help other departments and managers. If you want them to do it for you, be willing to do it for them.
- Don’t underestimate the little guys. Many alliances start small.