Dealing with politics at work

I finally can write about a colleague I dealt with a few years ago. I’ll call him Billy. I wanted to write about it because it was the first time I had to deal with politics and it impacted some of my work. So here are my lessons and things I learned from working with him.

I’ve always tried to operate in a trusting mode where I am direct and share all the information with my colleagues regarding problems I am having. With Billy in particular though, he would offer to help, but then turn the situation around where if he was able to improve it, use it as a situation to put me down and try to take away more resources from me. I would think wtf?!! But sometimes I would be happy with the reduced burden on my side. After working with him a few times, I never allowed myself to ask for help from him again. I always had to be careful with what I said in front of him, otherwise I felt like he was waiting to attack me in case I slipped up.

There were some good qualities about him as well. He seemed good at making the team happy and helping row the boat in a way that got better results. So I turned the situation from being mistrusting of him to trying to learn from him and improve myself.

I still don’t want to deal with politics, I just want to get things done.

So my main learnings are:

  • Come prepared for all meetings
  • Write notes for all my meetings
  • Always help the team grow. A leader grows leaders
  • Always speak my mind and make suggestions

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