When we think of playing to win, the rules of sports and competition may come to mind.
[Related: How to Solve the Sponsorship Gap in Your Career]
At the office, there are differences in protocol and negotiating relationships that must be learned to get ahead. There are circumstances you will be presented with where you’ll have to be the quarterback or sit to the side and play the game. In Play for the Win! Mastering High-Stakes Corporate Politics, Wonya Lucas (president & CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta) and Debbie Dyson (corporate vice president of client experience and continuous improvement at ADP) reveal to women the insider-tips to becoming a powerful influence at the office. Dyson and Lucas shared moments where they grappled with corporate politics and high-stake situations that helped them learn and develop a plan for their success and the success of their teams.
It’s important to know how to navigate sensitive office ‘situations’ in a safe way without alienating others, or yourself. Making the wrong move may cost you a job, a valuable professional contact or your reputation. None of these losses are easy to get back.
Here are 5 takeways you want to make part of your play-to-win office strategy today:
- Focus on respect; not being liked by others
- Understand the motivation of others to succeed before negotiations, etc.
- Listen first, but make sure your presence is known
- Understand the day-to-day protocols and what needs to be done to make things happen
- Redefine yourself using positive terms. Re-label yourself as passionate; not aggressive
During Play to Win, women shared their questions about the best way to deal with their own unique challenges. The best tip: start on offense, and you can write your own narrative. When you understand corporate politics and approach it with the sharpest skills and a winning hand, a bright career and opportunities are at your door.