How To Deal With Office Politics

Whether it’s a cocktail party or a beer-pong tournament, go. If there’s a group of colleagues traveling to hear a speaker across town, join them. Get other people invested in your career—both inside and outside your office.  “Think of your contacts and political alliances as a bank account,” says Marilyn Puder-York, author of The Office Survival Guide. “Make contributions to it regularly.”

When you come across a nugget of information that’s genuinely useful to a political ally—a colleague, a networking contact, even a superior—use it to build your alliance: “Normally, I don’t share this kind of stuff, but I thought it might help you.” That said, keep a couple of rules in mind. First, don’t initiate negative gossip or pass it along. Second, be wary of relationships built on too much gossip. “Remember,” says Puder-York. “That person who’s gossiping with  you will probably gossip about you too.”

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