Office Politics-Book
February 15, 2011 4:57 PM   Subscribe

Books on dealing with office politics

Hi All

I work in a corporation that is highly political. I am, by nature, not used to this and not much for visibility or being in the limelight.

Due to this I am not getting credit for what I do and mostly am not sure how I can be visible for my achievements and not trip over office politics.

I am looking for a book that helps/guides on office politics, how to be visible at work, how to avoid "people pitfalls" and stay ahead of the game.

Any recommendations would be great. Thank you!

(i do understand that it is what you do, focus on your work etc. etc. I have tried that, but need guidance on how to deal with this aspect also)
posted by pakora1 to Work & Money (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Hideously expensive, but worth every penny: FYI: For Your Improvement -- it's more like a coach-in-a-book as opposed to something you read through. (It's this expensive because it's used as a textbook, and is usually one of those that students keep as opposed to selling.)
posted by SpecialK at 5:04 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Art of War, perhaps. (Serious suggestion.)
posted by salvia at 5:32 PM on February 15, 2011

Office politics. Eww. No fun. I stink at those games.

But there is this book here .
posted by ian1977 at 5:42 PM on February 15, 2011

From an Amazon book review of 48 Laws of Power....

You need to read books like these to know how too many people at the top think. But don't live out some of these rules in real life (e.g., crush your enemy completely) - there'll always be someone who does it better, and you will get crushed. Martha Stewart got hers, so don't think you're going to smash people and live to tell the tale. Reality simply doesn't work that way - and even if you survive professionally, the spiritual rot and personal decay will leave you an isolated, paranoid wreck. Read this book in the spirit of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, in which a master demon gives advice to a protege on how to destroy mortals. Learn how to spot people who live like this - and then stay very, very far away.

Sounds about right to me!
posted by ian1977 at 5:45 PM on February 15, 2011

salvia: Art of War, perhaps.

Have you ever read it? Its underlying thesis is that you should be unconventional and unpredictable to defeat your enemies. The asker is looking for ways to fit-in and assert his presence, not dominate and likely estrange himself from his coworkers. It's a good book to learn competing, but not for politicking.
posted by mnemonic at 6:09 PM on February 15, 2011

I have not, so I defer. Someone once recommended it to me in a similar situation, a caveat I should have included, sorry. Thanks for calling out the mistake.
posted by salvia at 6:17 PM on February 15, 2011

Don't know if you're female, but I found this book to be helpful. It doesn't necessarily promise to get you to the corner office, but it will help you see those political buzzsaws before you walk into them.
posted by anemone at 7:34 PM on February 15, 2011

The No Asshole Rule has helped some people that I know.
posted by analog at 8:08 PM on February 15, 2011

Well my friend had an internship class in college and I think it was this book that her professor made her read. she was so ashamed to be reading a book about sleeping her way to the top and stabbing her coworkers in the back that she carried the book in a brown paper bag so as not to be seen with it.
posted by bananafish at 11:17 PM on February 15, 2011

Seconding FYI and No Asshole Rule.

If you've described yourself and your environment accurately, then you will indeed need some help. And it might be worth noting that low politics people don't do well in high politics environments: ultimately, you may want to get a job somewhere that suits you better.

In the meantime, I highly recommend these books:

Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company From the Publishers Weekly review: "Aimed primarily at "under-political" people perennially steamrollered, ostracized or exploited by slicker operators, the book includes lots of "self-talk" mantras ("it’s ‘networking’ and ‘relationship-building,’ not ‘schmoozing’") that readers can recite to overcome their reluctance to play the game. The authors have a good feel for the nitty-gritty of corporate conflict, misbehavior and skullduggery."

The 12 Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back: Overcoming the Behavior Patterns That Keep You From Getting Ahead Focuses on how you can improve yourself rather than the people around you.

What Your Boss Doesn't Tell You Until It's Too Late: How to Correct Behavior That Is Holding You Back Another honest, realistic book focused on modifying your own behaviour.

The Secret Handshake: Mastering the Politics of the Business Inner Circle An excellent guide, particularly for women and low-politics people.

It's All Politics: Winning in a World Where Hard Work and Talent Aren't Enough Same author as the handshake book above; also excellent.

Good luck :-)
posted by Susan PG at 1:36 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

thanks so much for all the great replies!
posted by pakora1 at 4:42 AM on February 18, 2011

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