A Publication of WTVP

The first time Jay met with his mentor, Brian, he asked him what the most important thing to know to be successful at work was. Jay was surprised when Brian said, “Politics.”

Politics in the workplace is often an afterthought. But it is important to understand the landscape, the people and the rules of the workplace. The key to reaching agreements is an understanding what motivates a person or organization.

Trusted leaders are aware of the politics. They make sure their team is aware of them as well. Trusted leaders seek balanced solutions. They navigate the tension between the competing needs of the bigger organization and the team.

Here are seven ways to navigate the politics of the workplace.

Should you play politics or not? Whether you call it politics or a best practice, you must play. Understanding office politics is critical to being successful. How you use your knowledge is even more important. When you use your political insights to manipulate or create win-lose situations, you lose influence. People won’t trust you. When you use political insights to create win-win results, you become a force to be reckoned with.

Jay rose through the rank of leadership. He was liked and knew a lot of people. He understood all the organizations in the company. He was brought in to lead dysfunctional teams and was able to get them aligned and successful. People would go the extra mile for him because they felt he understood them. Nobody ever called Jay a politician. He just got things done.

Walt Grassl is a speaker, author, performer and host of the radio show, “Stand Up and Speak Up,” on the RadioStar Worldwide network. For more information, visit