Fresh Look – Does displaying self-confidence pay off politically?

In general, appearing self-confident helps one emerge as a leader.[1] It leads to the perception that one is trustworthy and credible, especially if it is accompanied by positive performance.[2] In any event, appearing self-confident is associated with erect posture, unwavering…

Fresh Look – sucking up by opening up

One of the ways some people suck up to others is by disclosing things about themselves that they have previously left unsaid. For example, one might tell another than one grew up in a single family household or that one…

Fresh Look – ethics and office politics

My academic research contribution was at the intersection of office politics and ethics. I published many articles on the subject[1], and I was elected President of the Society for Business Ethics in part because of my contributions to this literature….

Fresh Look – Healthy attitude toward politics

We develop our attitude toward office politics according to our experience. If we observe a lot of self-serving manipulative behavior, especially if we are victimized by it, our attitude is likely to be negative. Accordingly, politics becomes highly stressful[1], and…

Fresh Look – Politics and performance appraisal

When your boss formally appraises your performance, do you get a fair and accurate rating, or does politics contaminate her judgment? Political manipulations of employee evaluations are not uncommon.[1] Hidden agendas a supervisor might apply include being biased against the…

Fresh Look – The political costs of getting mad depend on your sex and race

I have written before about the strategic use of anger. For example, when mediating a conflict or negotiating, the expression of negative emotions may have a positive effect.[1] However, anger must be very carefully used, especially if you are a…

Fresh Look – Gender politics

Here an interesting item from the time capsule. When I was 23 and just finishing my masters degree, I applied for several teaching jobs. The idea I had was that if I could find a job close to a major…

Fresh Look – the wisdom of back-up plans

You are going into politically charged meeting and have a game plan for how it will unfold. The meeting takes an unexpected turn, but you have a back-up plan and shift to it. Sounds wise, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. On…

Fresh Look – How much power does your job provide?

Office politics is about power, and we all have two sources: our job, and the sources like our networks, expertise, and inside information that we personally cultivate. Ever wonder how much power your job gives you? Take the following test…

Fresh Look – If you’re politically skilled, delegate

A new study shows that politically skilled leaders tend to delegate decisions more than their unskilled colleagues.[1] Does this make sense? Indeed it does. Think about it, politically skilled leaders are active networkers, and by virtue of these connections, they…