Managing Self

Office Politics: How do you best handle not arguing with your superiors?

This is a really frustrating situation. The more you want to explain yourself, the more the boss dismisses you because he’s not available to hear your answer.

That’s tough to hear I know. Everyone wants a boss who is supportive and helps your growth instead of makes you feel stuck and lacking confidence. However, getting defensive is not working. While it may be style/personality that causes friction between you two, from what you said, there a need to justify your position which is not helpful to your career long-term. Since it’s been going on for some time now, you may be starting to react in a fight or flight response as if you’re being attacked.

Give these tips a read – it will take practice and self-discipline to change your approach when interacting with your boss.

  • If you know his reaction is going to be “x” then prepare by anticipating it.
  • Get in front of his reaction by a) gathering necessary data available to make an informed decision (not necessarily only the data to support your proposal); b) communicating in a more fact-based way which shows you are not attached to your solution, but finding the best solution overall for the good of the project or company; c) Being flexible and open to new ideas or clarifications.
  • If your boss is dismissing your ideas because they are off the mark, practice asking more clarifying questions of him. Leverage lessons learned from the past, advisors and strategic direction with big-picture vision where applicable. True, it’s not fair if he is making decisions with information that would have been helpful to you, but that happens all the time. Do what you can to start to see things from his perspective with the pressures and answers he needs to provide his superiors.

I would recommend looking at The 360 Degree Leader book by John Maxwell which will provide you with ways to manage upwards. Posted on Quora Sep 4. Follow Jessica Manca on Quora

What are the unspoken rules of Office Politics?

Ever feel like you are part of a game that no one told you the rules or how to play?

Yes, I have and it can be so frustrating and complicated which makes going to work feel like playing in a hornet’s nest. You can’t help the games that others play, and can only be responsible for your actions. Office politics are everywhere when there is position, power and competition.

Here’s some tips:

  • *Keep your attitude positive and avoid gossip: Don’t say anything negative about others that you wouldn’t say directly to the individual. Excuse yourself from the conversation if others engage in gossip and avoid taking any sides.
  • *Let others learn their own lessons: Don’t sabotage others at work (even if you see people do this).
  • *Listen to your inner voice: Trust your gut instinct and initial reaction in life and at work. If something feels wrong, it likely is. However, you do have a corporate responsibility if someone is breaking policy to report it.
  • *Be genuine: Sometimes when people are looking to advance their career, they can put on an act. Not only does that show a lack of self-confidence, but also takes energy away from just being yourself and excelling at your job.
  • *Change perspectives: You might also consider the perspective of the ones who are instigating the games. Are they insecure, fearful to lose their position, frequently develop fake relationships or have dominant leadership traits? Be conscious of others’ intentions in the games they play, and try not to get caught up in them.

Even when you apply all the advice from the answers here, you may still be caught in the middle. Keep focused on your role in the company and meeting the expectations of your job. If you spend too much time playing games too, you’ll begin to feel mentally exhausted of trying keep up with all the hidden cues and working on interpreting information across multiple levels.

What is the best way for job seekers to get noticed on LinkedIn as a great candidate?

There are three ingredients to getting noticed on LinkedIn or any job board.

1. Be searchable. Make sure your resume really speaks to your personal brand. Ensure you have added the appropriate specialties and skills. Include extra-curricular activities which demonstrate your work life balance and personal interests.

2. Keep your profile up-to-date and professional. No grammatical errors, no informal language, etc. As mentioned, ensure you have a professional looking photo and ask for recommendations for your previous work. This shows you have deep relationships and others will endorse your work ethic and personal contribution and effectiveness.

3. Create a version of your resume that is adapted to the audience you’re seeking. While some aspects of your previous experience really stand out to you, do they matter for the next position? Having a custom resume really tells a narrative rather than a chronological history of events across your work life. No matter what your experience level, all resumes need to be adapted to the audience.

What I would look for personally, is the notion that the individual pays close attention to their profile across these areas. Their professionalism and energy should shine through and that is what would make for a great candidate.

Posted on July 17, LinkedIn Answers

Is office gossip unprofessional?

Yes for two main reasons.

1. This kind of noise in the workplace serves no real benefit nor resolves the “issue” being discussed. It’s behavior that can create a negative and unsupportive environment (some would call it “toxic”).

2. The other more damaging effect is that it reflects poorly on those who are gossiping. Others may perceive the gossiper as easily distracted and expending energy on the wrong things.

There’s a great quote that sums up how speaking negatively can damage morale and relationships from Irwin Federman, General Partner at US Venture Partners. Federman says, “Your job gives you authority. Your behaviour gives you respect.” Posted on July 13, LinkedIn Answers

Personal Branding: Im a young graduate student finishing my master in the energy and environment sector, should i create a webpage to “sell myself” (a part from linkedin)… if so, what are the options out there?

As a first step, you need to define your personal brand statement. This statement reflects who you are and the qualities that represent your unique value proposition to a prospective employer. Cater the language used in your personal brand to that audience.

Your personal brand will the theme you will build into your resume, whether it’s online, paper or blog-like. You’ve gotten some great suggestions, but remember that no matter what online presence you put out there, you keep it up-to-date and consistent with your brand. The extra polish and ability to succinctly describe what you’re about will have employers interested in you. Posted on July 13, LinkedIn Answers

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