This week’s selection is “HBR Guide to Office Politics” by Karen Dillon.
Office politics may not be a technical topic, but it is almost certainly relevant to Fabbaloo readers, most of whom work in an office with other individuals.
Where there are people, there is politics, regardless of the size of the organization. Sometimes the politics are at a low level, and the organization seems to work through issues well. But other times politics reigns, driving everyone mad.
Newcomers to the office world are often ill-equipped to deal with politics and relationships in an office environment, particularly those focused on technologies. It’s for that reason we thought this book might be of interest to readers who find themselves struggling to keep ahead in a competitive organization.
Dillon has written a very popular book on this topic in the HBR series (by the way, “HBR” is short for “Harvard Business Review”, a leading publication for business science.)
In the book Dillon explains the problem:
“Every office is political.
For years, I naively thought I worked at a place that wasn’t. I saw our office as more or less fair, more or less healthy, and highly includes — perhaps overly so — in decision making. People competed with themselves. I’d proudly tell prospective recruits, not with one another. And I meant it.
All these good things I believed? They were true — but only to a point, I realize with hindsight. We competed with ourselves, but also with one another. Our bosses had favorites, and we noticed. We grumbled about promotions that didn’t seem deserved, assignment that didn’t seem fair. People subtly found ways to elbow one another out of pole position for C-suite attention. Our office was political. Of course it was.”
Does that sound familiar?
Could that be your office? It could very well be, as every office I’ve worked in had the same characteristics. It’s just human nature, and you have to deal with it.
But how? What do you look for? What actions do you take, or not take? That’s often learnings obtained over many years of trial-and-error experience.
But you can short circuit that by reading this book. Dillon covers all the bases:
- Political Challenges With Your Boss
- Political Challenges With Your Colleagues
- Political Challenges In Your Organization
Dillon also provides methods for handling conflicts, criticism and even having difficult conversations.
This book is most definitely not about 3D printing, but it does deal with situations that surely occur in almost every company. You can learn a lot from this book, and those new skills may just take your career in new directions.
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