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Franke James is Editor/Founder of Office-Politics.com and Inventor of the Office-Politics® Game.
Peter R. Garber has worked as an HR professional for over 25 years and is the author of many business books including: Winning the Rat Race at Work and 100 Ways to Get on the Wrong Side of your Boss.
Dina Beach Lynch, is an Ombudsman, Author and former attorney. An award-winning mediator, Dina served as the Corporate Ombudsman for the 7th largest bank in the US helping over 48,000 employees to resolve workplace issues.
Dr. Rick Brandon is CEO of Brandon Partners. He has consulted and trained tens of thousands at corporations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries.
Dr. Marty Seldman is one of America's most experienced executive coaches. His 35-year career includes expertise in executive coaching, group dynamics, cross-cultural studies, clinical psychology, and training.
Arnie Herz, is a lawyer, mediator, speaker, author and consultant nationally recognized for his practical and inspired approach to conflict resolution and client counseling.
Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian. John is currently located in Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada, working with Canada's aboriginal communities.
My co-worker, pretending to be my best buddy was back stabbing me... Whatever he did worked. The whole team is against me.
I discovered your website last week when searching on search engines for insight into my situation at work and found the office politics website to be very informative. Hence, I am contacting you in the hopes of obtaining some valuable insight into my situation.
I was hired by my company a year ago to work with some technology that they were unsuccessful with and they all expected me to fail as well. As it turned out, through some long hours and determination, the whole project I was left with was successful. It appeared that the other team members were feeling threatened. My co-worker, pretending to be my best buddy was back stabbing me and saying subtle negative things about me behind my back to sway my old manager and now my new manager to distrust me. Whatever he did worked. The whole team is against me. There is one guy on this team who is particularly good in the political game and he is masterful at manipulating people to believe his point of view. He gets to know them on an emotional level and works from there. He could not do this with me because I saw through him so I kept my distance. Basically, since this well connected guy "Mr. X" has been talking to my manager and the other manager that he is in cahoots with, my new manager has said very little to me and only comes to me to find out how I do what I do. Of course, I have not imparted with that knowledge.
Last week I found out from a friend that my manager purchased the technology I have been using for the past year for each member of our development team as well as each member of the test team that Mr. X is on. They have excluded me from the meetings. My manager told me that he was buying additional licenses but nothing more than that. During the last two weeks he has asked me to put my files onto the network and provide him with some basic information on how to use the software I have been working with. I put the files on the network but fearing that they are planning to oust me from the company, I have taken my time with the documentation while looking for another job. One of my colleagues came to me last week to thank me again and again for my help with the project and that things went well. I asked him how the new software was that was purchased for the team and he said it was put there and they were told to try to learn it. I asked him what was next and he did not say much. Problem is, he is close to my manager's colleague who gave me a lot of work to do about a month ago until Mr. X created some friction between the team and myself that resulted in me no longer being involved in those team meetings and resulted in my manager giving that work to someone else and telling me that I can pick up that work again once I have competed my network performance project which I finished two weeks ago.
There has been no follow up about this or anything said about new work. He booked a meeting with me so that I could put my files onto the network and then provide him with an orientation of what is what. I have called in sick to look for another job. I want to ask my manager what my next project is going to be but I am not sure that this will be the right approach as it might force him to bring things to a head and give me notice.
Please advise me as soon as you can. There is also the
issue of the team that has been turned against me by Mr. X and they do
not say very much to me at all except for my buddy James who came over
to thank me for my work. I think that he is hinting that I will not
be there much longer so I should look for something else. I am technically
supposed to be there until Feb 28. 2005. Please advise. Your insight
into this situation is very much appreciated.
Dear Tactical Moves: How can I win at Office-Politics?
Firstly, please know that we wish you well regardless of the upshot, and we hunch you will be successful by relying upon your obvious competence in your field. So keep your head on straight since no matter how this turns out, if you handle your reputation well and cover your tracks, you will land on your feet. You might be able to salvage the current situation, but if NOT, you've invested a year and will leave wiser for the experience. Now how MIGHT you make lemonade out of these lemons you're munching on currently?
Please let us know how this all turns out! Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.
Rick Brandon, Ph.D. and Marty Seldman, Ph.D., Co-authors
Feedback from Tactical Moves:
Rick's advice is awesome. I just got his email today so I will put it to the test tomorrow. He honed in on some home truths with regards to my political style. His advice on how I should deal with the situation is an eyeopener. It was quite amusing that Rick identified 'Trust' as one of the points in his email though I have not worked with him in person. His advice honed in on an area that has been my demise in some previous political situations. It was too funny! Thanks again.
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