I don't know how to play this game
January 30, 2012 7:08 AM Subscribe
Do you have tips or resources that would help an overly earnest "nice guy" type navigate political maneuverings at work?
posted by anonymous to work & money (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
A team has been formed for a special project with a fairly substantial budget. I am new to this project and new to working at this level with a budget this large. There are two other members that are clearly trying to take over the project for their own personal benefit. (I mean they want to get each other booted off the team- it's like a money pie that everyone wants control of). I simply want the project to succeed and am being 'courted' by each person. One has even offered writing a line item into the budget to increase my salary. They both want my alliance.
Basically, I have two savvy individuals trying to manipulate me and I'm really in over my head. I've come to see that information is power and consequently have been overcome by distrust. It has even leaked into my relationships with other coworkers who are not on this team, now when I'm asked about something I immediately think why do they want to know that- what's their agenda?
Yet I also know that even though people have their own agendas, they also have good ideas and can make a positive contribution to the team- so what do I do?
It's crazy making! I'm not naturally competitive, I'm a poor liar- I don't seem to have any of the skills associated with being good at this stuff. But I want to be smart and not get bowled over by people. I also don't want to inadvertently screw over other people by being too upfront and honest with untrustworthy people.
So, do you have any tricks or tips for not being an easy mark or on how to resolve these types of power conflicts? Are there books that have helped you deal with similar situations? Are there characters in film/tv that illustrate a skilled but morally good/neutral political navigator?
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