Like any business, professional services firms are complex systems of egos, constituencies, issues and rivalries. Even the best-managed firm has partners with strong egos, sensitivities, and empire protectors. If you are going to navigate and survive your firm’s politics you need to learn to be politically savvy.

guide to surviving firm politics copy 200pxIn this three part blog post, we look at the 12 ways you too can become politically savvy, and avoid putting your foot in it one too many times:

1. Identify the movers and shakers in your firm. Who are the highly influential people in your firm? They may not be a partner or have an imposing job title. Who are the gatekeepers who control the flow of resources, information and decisions? Who are the guides and the helpers? If you don’t already know, find out who they are and get to know them. Be aware of anyone in the firm who has a reputation for ‘throwing their toys out of the pram’ if they are not consulted or involved. Remember that everyone has a mixed bag of behaviours, and to keep any ‘labels’ you have for people in your firm to yourself.

Click here to download our free guide to surviving your firm's politics. (email required)

2. Prepare before speaking with senior management. Senior management are notorious for being incredibly time poor. They often appreciate being informed face-to-face. Be prepared with what you want to say to them and don’t waste their time; if they have given you ten minutes then keep to time or, better still, finish ahead of time.

3. Be careful when dealing with influential partners. Very often these partners have large egos and can be very sensitive, often because they are managing highly tense situations behind the scenes. As a consequence, there is a lot of room for making statements or acting in ways that could be seen as showing poor political judgment. There isn’t usually a second chance to make a good first impression with these people in your firm. You have been warned!

In tomorrow’s blog post, we look at another 5 ways to be politically savvy

Click here to download our free guide to surviving your firm's politics. (email required)

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