A is for always getting to work on time.
B is for being extremely busy.
C is for the conscientious way you do your job.
You may be all these things at the office, and more. But when it comes to getting ahead, experts say, the ABCs of business should include a P, for politics, as in office politics.
Dale Carnegie suggested as much more than 50 years ago: Hard work alone doesn’t ensure career advancement. You have to be able to sell yourself and your ideas, both publicly and behind the scenes. Yet, despite the obvious rewards of engaging in office politics — a better job, a raise, praise — many people are still unable or unwilling — to “play the game”.
“People assume that office politics involves some manipulative behavior,” says Deborah Comer, an assistant professor of management at Hofstra University. “But politics derives from the word ‘polite’. It can mean lobbying and forming associations. It can mean being kind and helpful, or even trying, to please your superior, and then expecting something in return.”
In fact, today, experts define office politics as proper behavior used to pursue one’s own self-interest in the workplace. In many cases, this involves some form of socializing within the office environment — not just in large companies, but in small workplaces as well.
“The first thing people are usually judged on is their ability to perform well on a consistent basis,” says Neil P. Lewis, a management psychologist. “But if two or three candidates are up for a promotion, each of whom has reasonably similar ability, a manager is going to promote the person he or she likes best. It’s simple human nature.”
Yet, psychologists say, many employees and employers have trouble with the concept of politics in the office. Some people, they say, have an idealistic vision of work and what it takes to succeed. Still others associate politics with flattery, fearful that, if they speak up for themselves, they may appear to be flattering their boss for favors.
Experts suggest altering this negative picture by recognizing the need for some self-promotion.
1. What is the meaning of “play the game” in paragraph 5?
A. Play computer games in office.
B. Play office politics.
C. Play office games.
D. All of above.
2. Why are many people still unable or unwilling to “play the game”?
A. Because they think the game is manipulative.
B. Because they think the office politics is manipulative.
C. Because they think the office politics is difficult.
D. Because they think the game is difficult.
3. Which one below is Deborah Comer’s opinion?
A. Office politics involves manipulative behavior.
B. Office politics is a game.
C. Office politics can mean something good.
D. It’s human nature that a manager promotes the person he or she likes best.
4. How do experts define office politics today?
A. A game.
B. Manipulative behavior.
C. A way used to pursue one’s own self-interest.
D. Proper behavior.
5. Which one is correct according to the passage?
A. Office politics does not involve many social interactions.
B. The first thing people are usually judged on is their preference.
C. Office politics is unnecessary.
D. Neil P. Lewis advocates office politics.