Step Into The Light

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Do you get a little timid, scared even, when you want to approach your boss about a new concept, never mind a raise? Do you coil up like a snail when a co-worker confronts you about a problem? If so, it’s time for you to come out from the shadows and step into the light. Read Enlightened Office Politics: Understanding, Coping with, and Winning the Game–Without Losing Your Soul by Michael S. Dobson & Deborah S. Dobson (AMACOM Books, $17.95).

It reads like other office politics books, but the interactive worksheets and charts propel you to the next chapter. The exercises cover the gamut of office politics, including goal setting; use of power, both ethical and unethical; the management pyramid (think hierarchy); a roster of the players–such as enemies, fellow travelers, and allies–and how to understand their needs, meet them, and still get what you want.

The authors note that doing a good job is not enough anymore, “and not playing politics in hopes that you will be magically singled out and rewarded…is not a very reliable method.” Therefore, it’s important to study the battlefield, maximize your relationship power, and refer to the rules that the Dobsons offer “to focus your thinking [and] to give you a model to analyze your current situation.”

The premise–how to be a player in the office without selling your soul–is one that carried throughout the book. According to the authors, it’s certainly possible to get what you want at work and remain true to yourself.