Forbes has Office Politics: Must You Play? A Handbook For Survival/Success which notes in part:
As reported by Chad Brooks for Business News Daily, here is some
advice from Robert Half for using skilled communications to navigate
the politics you cannot avoid:
Build a broad coalition of support: Lobby for the respect and trust of
all your colleagues, including those at the grassroots level. Forge
strong alliances by sharing credit for successes and delivering on
Avoid smear campaigns: Gossiping or mudslinging can only damage your
own credibility. When you are upset or frustrated, wait until you’ve
calmed down to express your concerns. Be direct but tactful. Focus on
the black and white facts.
Stay true to your values: There are those who’ll do anything to “win,”
but on the whole, character and credibility will eventually prevail.
Don’t give in to the temptation to play underhanded games to rise
through the ranks.
Connect with your constituents: Smart political candidates tailor
their message and approach to the audience (in life coach parlance, we
call it “speaking to their listening.”) What is it that a particular
listener or audience wants to know and needs to frame the information
within? What are their priorities and goals? Employees should apply
the same tactics to communication with co-workers. Observe their
unique work styles, priorities and communication preferences in order
to best adapt your approach.
Play by the rules: Avoid sticky situations by paying attention to the
office protocol. If you make a misstep, make amends quickly.
So there is something to be said for knowing values and culture as a starting point.
The Win-Win Way to Play Office Politics from the New York Times notes:
These are the negative and stereotypical examples that help give
office politics a bad name. Certainly, there are many unethical and
unprofessional ways to be political, said Marilyn Puder-York, a
psychologist and executive coach based in the New York area and author
of “The Office Survival Guide.” When it is done ethically, though, no
one loses, and you’ve “enhanced your reputation with the right
people,” she said.
To Dr. Puder-York, office politics is a balance between cooperation
and competition. There are times when it causes harm and dysfunction,
and other times when it motivates and inspires employees, enhancing
productivity and creativity, she said.