Following on from yesterday’s blog post, we are carrying on looking at 12 different ways to navigate and survive the maze that is your firm’s office politics.

4. Always be prepared to be flexible when spending time with a partner. Very often your time together may be cut short or postponed because a client requires their input. Don’t moan about this – it’s par for the course with a professional service firm. Have a contingency plan if this happens, and be prepared to summarise your key points and conclusions and send a written follow-up.

5. Exercise self-control before saying what is on your mind. Often people get themselves into political trouble by being too candid and annoying influential people, or too little candour, which is seen as holding back due to fearfulness or lacking guts. While saying what you want to say and to hell with the consequences may make you feel good, it would fail the political savvy test. You need to weigh-up each situation on the candour scale. Are the right people here? Is this really the best time to speak my mind? Should I let someone else start before I pitch-in? Did the speaker who asked for candour really mean it, or could this be a career-limiting conversation?

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

6. Avoid gossiping or supplying information to the firm’s grapevine. In a firm, people quickly find out what you have said about them, and that includes gossip. It can be very easy to get burnt by sharing private views with others in the wrong setting and with the wrong people. If you choose to gossip and pass on stories, it may limit your career. If you choose not to gossip, it won’t limit your career.

7. Avoid sexist or politically incorrect humour. Times have changed drastically and humour that was seen as positive a few years ago is now politically unacceptable. The rules are simple. Any humour that hurts others, demeans others, or makes fun of the difficulties others face is out. What’s left? You can tell clean jokes, make fun of yourself, tell funny stories and laugh with others.

8. Treat everyone as individuals, and with respect. The magic and complexity of life is that people are different. Everyone, particularly partners, requires special consideration and treatment. What may work with one person, may annoy another, so you need to learn to read people. Relationships which work in a firm are ones where there is mutual respect – both for each other and particularly in a professional partnership, for what each other has achieved.

In tomorrow’s blog post, we look at another 4 ways to be politically savvy.

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

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