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…

Sleep deprivation and office politics

There is ample evidence that tired employees are impaired political players. They are less able to perform in complex social situations[1] and they are prone to resorting to crude rather than subtle political practices.[2] Healthy sleep practices are critical to…

Fresh Look – Emotionally adroit office politicians

Emotions are contagious.[1] When you go to a meeting where everyone else is acting cheerfully and optimistically, it can’t help but buoy your spirits. Similarly, contact with an angry customer often leads you to displace your frustration on others nearby.[2]…

Fresh Look – The home life of senior managers

It is self-evident that what happens at home spills over into the workplace. Even seemingly ordinary aspects of our lives at home have been shown to significantly impact our experiences and effectiveness at work. For example, whether employees have had…

Fresh Look – Blessings and curses

As some of you may know, I spent two years directing a university center that enabled students to have direct contact and spend time with homeless and economically disadvantaged people. The theory that propelled this program is that college students…

fresh start

With this post, I am beginning a new series entitled, FRESH LOOK. During my “leave,” I thought a lot about where this blog was going. Up to this point, I have brought you new research findings relevant to office politics….

The benefits of being a little obsessive-compulsive

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is no laughing matter. The victims of OCD experience uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors they feel compelled to perform. People who have OCD recognize that their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational—but even so, they…

Ethical amnesia

A new study shows that we tend to remember acting moral and forget our ethical misdeeds.[1] Obviously, this tendency limits our learning from mistakes, and deceives us into believing ourselves to be more ethical than we really are. So, don’t…

Answer the following three questions honestly:

Answer the following three questions honestly: Use the following scale: 7=strongly agree 6=agree 5=agree a little 4= neutral 3=disagree a little 2=disagree 1=strongly disagree ___1. Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them. ___2. I…

Recovering from political failure

No one who plays office politics always wins. Failure is inevitable and it provides important lessons that should be mastered. It is important to recover from setbacks quickly and decisively, and there is a talent that helps political players do…