Submit Your Letter to Office-Politics
What is OfficePolitics.com? Real People. Real Problems. Expert Advice.
What problems are you grappling with? Is a co-worker making you want to tear your hair out? Did the Boss call you into his/her office and then pull the rug out from under you! Did you snag a fired co-worker’s furniture, only to have it stolen by someone else? We’re here to help… Check out the full listing of our letters.
Submit your 100-400 word ‘Dear Office-Politics’ dilemma:
Please put Dear Office-Politics in the subject line. We will not reveal your real name or email. Read the Terms of Submission.
My letter was not answered — what gives?!
If that’s what’s happened to you — our sincere apologies. Each month we receive many more letters than we can reply to. If your letter has not been answered it could be because:
1. We’ve answered a letter (or many letters) that addressed the same topic.
2. Your letter is too long.
3. Another letter was chosen because the issue was considered to be of more interest to all site readers.
4. Your letter required legal advice. We cannot give legal advice. Please contact a lawyer if you need legal help.
You can resubmit your letter — but again — there are no guarantees it will be answered. This is a free service we’ve been providing since 2002. It’s meant to educate and raise awareness of ethical issues in the workplace. It is not a free legal advice service.
Who answers the letters sent into www.OfficePolitics.com?
It is a talented group. We draw on experts in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, dispute resolution, employment law, PR and ethics to answer letters submitted to the site. Check out the Advisers page to see the team.
How do I contact the Office-Politics team?
firstname.lastname@example.org (Please put Office-Politics in the subject line.)
Who started Office-Politics.com?
Franke James, MFA is the Editor & Founder of Office-Politics.com, Co-founder of The James Gang, and the Inventor of The Office-Politics® Game a dilemma-based social game that teaches you how to play, and laugh, at office politics. Franke puts her creative problem solving and PR skills to work in answering letters, book reviews, articles and interviews. Also, check out her humorous Office-Politics animated cartoons.
Franke on Office-Politics & Culture:
Based on an interview in The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch)
Office politics is about the ethical culture and values that everyone in the office shares (or doesn’t share!). So, you have to ask yourself ‘What are the important values in my office?’ Do I fit in? Is openness and honesty encouraged, or is lying, cheating and bribery the unspoken rule? Depending on who you are and what your values are, you are going to be a ‘fish out of water’ in one office, and swimming happily in the other. Obviously most offices are not that black and white — there is a huge scale, but it’s the old ‘slippery slope’. Is lying okay when it’s the Executive secretary covering for the Boss? Is lying okay when safety inspectors come to investigate a contamination problem because otherwise it will cause mayhem with the stock price? Is paying bribes OK because that’s the way business is run in this country… It goes on and on.
I see office politics as encompassing all ethical, behavioral and moral issues encountered in the office environment. It’s about human nature.
You can’t escape office politics. But you can learn to play the game.
Everyone has an agenda. Awareness makes all the difference. It’s much better to understand how and why people are manipulating facts and/or events to bring about their desired outcome. Office politics is not necessarily ‘evil’. It’s a fact of life and everyone is better off learning how to deal with it — and how to use it to their advantage!
People need to be asking themselves questions all the time and be willing to be self-critical. For example: ‘How do my needs differ from the company’s needs? How are they in sync? How can achieving my career objectives benefit the company? Who do I need to ‘sell’ my idea to within the company to make positive change happen? Who’s agenda will block my ‘idea’?
Do your homework. It can really pay off!
What are you going to do when you’re faced with a tough situation at work? My number one recommendation is to step back and analyze what’s happening and why. You’ll never see an expert chess player make a move without thinking through all the counter-moves. Apply that same discipline to your own life. Take time to think before rushing ahead and possibly making matters worse.
Reading the letters on the site is a great way to deepen your understanding of office politics and human nature. I also encourage everyone to read books on the subject. They can give you the tools and tips to tackle some very tough issues, and adjust attitudes (sometimes your own!). I’ve recently assembled some of my favorite books into the Office-Politics bookstore. Hope you enjoy! Please send me an email to email@example.com to let me know what you think.