“Actually, I don’t want a promotion. I can’t handle all the politics that come with it.”
This is a quote from a coaching client of mine. Her unspoken thoughts were she did not want to lose her career, reputation, or livelihood due to politics at work.
Corporate politics is another way of describing relationships at work. To be successful at politics, you must be strategic about building and managing your work relationships. Each post in this series will suggest a route that contributes to your strategies.
My first suggestion is: always recap your meetings with an email within 24 hours. Begin your email with a paragraph like this:
Here is my recap of the ideas and actions covered during our meeting at (time) on (date). Attendees included (names). Please suggest any edits or comments you wish. If you do not respond to this email, I will understand that you agree with the content.
I suggest using this opening paragraph (or your own version of it) to make it easy for everyone to agree with you. They will have to send an email if they want to correct or amend your version of the meeting.
There are several advantages to sending a recap email:
- You clarify your role and responsibilities
- You help others clarify their roles and responsibilities
- You have a record describing everyone’s tasks
- This record can come in handy if someone plays ‘politics’ with you later on. You have the evidence to assert any details that are in dispute and that management agreed with your description of the tasks.
Taking on the responsibility of sending a recap email is important. It marks you as a high-potential in your company. If you begin sending these emails, you must be consistent and continue sending them. So really examine your willingness to do this before you begin