Someone in your family is totally bummed that the March Break is almost over. They've been moping around the house all day.
This person is a grownup.
While most of us get hit with the occasional urge to go AWOL from work (that blast of spring weather we enjoyed last week could have lured even the most die-hard workaholic outdoors), if you find that you consistently dread going to work, office politics could be to blame.
But I don't want to play the game....
Given that office politics are a fact of life in most workplaces, learning how to play the game (at least enough to avoid being taken out of the game) has become a necessary evil. As Rona Maynard noted in a recent article written for the popular workplace behavior site OfficePolitics.com:
"Now more than ever, niceness won’t get you very far. How much do higher-ups really know about what you do and why it matters? ... The rewards in any organization go to those who are seen to succeed, week in and week out. You don’t have to be a shameless self-promoter who hogs all the credit for shared achievements. But if you don’t share good news about your work, you can’t expect anyone to notice."
And as for dealing with bosses or co-workers who bully, twist the facts, or hoard information?
Those have become workplace survival skills, too.
Franke James, founder and CEO of OfficePolitics.com has produced a fun and informative guide to mastering those those games you wish people wouldn't play.
The book (which can also be played as a game) allows you to try your hand at playing HR guru as you confront one nasty political situation after another. Themes include office princesses, coworkers who steal all the credit, and bosses who tolerate office bullying.
The parenting connection
So what do office politics have to do with parenting?
More than you might think.
Spending your day playing political snakes-and-ladders can zap you of your energy and your patience by the time you switch into family mode. So the more skilled you become at avoiding the snakes and holding on tight to those ladders, the happier you'll be both on and off the job.
There could also be an added perk, as you become more politically savvy. The better you become at dealing with power plays at work, the better you'll be able to coach your kids on dealing with Machiavellian moves on the playground. Or at preschool. After all, politics aren't just for grownups (unfortunately): they're a kid thing, too.
Dear Office Politics: The Game Everyone Plays by Franke James. Nerdheaven, Ltd: Toronto, Ontario, 2009. Winner of a 2010 AXIOM Business Book Award (Bronze, Human Resources and Training). Paperback, 138 pages. $36.49 U.S.