Your Route to the top: Pure politicking

Play the game. You'll find politics in the personality of every organisation. Master the basics and you can win without sacrificing your integrity.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Look, listen and learn. Every company has its own culture, so spend time observing the characteristics. What does success look like here? What types rise to the top? Are they assertive and creative, or cautious and straight down the line? Emphasise your skills in line with the winners.

Become a cultural chameleon. Don't try to change things, adapt. Whether it's dress, office hours or communication style, be clear on what you can compromise on for long-term gain.

Don't underestimate the power of personality. Your skills are expendable; you are not. Make people appreciate you for your good attitude and cultural fit. Hard work isn't enough.

State your aims. If you want to earn more, speak to your supervisor about what it'll take to secure promotion. Become known for straight talking and people will trust your word.

Make the right contacts. Those who influence decisions and allocate resources are not necessarily the ones at the top. Find out who has fingers in the important pies. Recognition for good work comes naturally when the right people know you.

Develop a power base. E-mailing your boss every time you achieve something says more about your insecurity than your ability. Get to know colleagues at all levels to build support.

Become an expert. Great office politicians are great people-managers. By empathising with colleagues' true motivations, you can negotiate, influence and delegate your way to success.

Manage your reputation. You must be seen to be making a positive impression on everyone, at all times. Control stress levels, downplay poor performance and steer clear of troublemakers. This will win you votes in the long term.

'The Mind Gym: Give me time' is published by Time Warner Books (£12.99). Contact the firm at

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