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MSN Career Builder

How office politics sabotage the workplace

By Philip Read and Mauricio Goldstein

June 24, 2009

MSN_career_builder_-_Games_at_work_artigoHave you ever found yourself wondering why there is so much politics in the office? And how this wrecks both value-creation and many a career?

For example: Brendan, a smart new hire with an MBA, was the most junior member of a team that was put together to analyze growth possibilities for the company. Sensing a threat, others on the team "forgot" to brief Brendan before a key meeting, delegated to him time-consuming and low-level tasks, or picked his ideas to death. Eventually he threw in the towel -- and took his good ideas to a competitor.

When we lift the lid on office politics, what we find are "games." The game that was played with Brendan we call the "Marginalize" game: subtle exclusion, cutting people out of decision-making loops, for personal or political reasons.

But there are many more games that are played at work and over time they sabotage the workplace by destroying trust, stifling innovation, preventing learning and diverting time from customers to internal bickering.

Examples of games:

Gotcha: identifying and communicating others' mistakes to the boss.
The Boss Said: invoking the name of a senior executive to imply that what they are saying is gospel.


Click here for the original article at msn.careerbuilder.com

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Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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