Benefiting from the Need for Agreement In the last post, you attempted to table a proposal but were left hung out to dry. You hadn’t realized that the need for agreement trumped support for a good idea. Are you doomed to let Tod run the show? Not necessarily. You can be aware, respect, and even use the need for agreement. Let’s rewind and redo the meeting. The second meeting (reprise)   YOU: I’d like to table my proposal. Tod: We have to d...

Challenging Aggressive Words In the last post, you had an ugly meeting. Tod from Finance tried to grab the whole contracting process and went ballistic when people objected. You’ve had an idea you think would work. But the way things are going, it’s likely to be tough to get the idea heard. Challenging Tod’s aggressive words may be the only way. What can you do to get your idea heard? If you try to table it over Tod’s aggressive approach,...

Combat in the Workplace Your boss has chosen you to represent Customer Relations in a cross-departmental group to streamline a process. Things have come to a head because your biggest customer is threatening to use a competitor if your company can’t fix the slow process. You expect some combat to get it done. The first meeting. Or combat Tod (Finance): The solution is clear. Finance taking the lead will speed things up a whole lot. YOU: How do ...

 Benefiting from Being In the Posse So you’re in the posse, the chosen in-group. You’re invited to the TGIFs and the bull session isn’t complete without you. Congratulations. However, a seat at the table is not enough. If all you do is laugh at their jokes and nod vigorously, you’ll gradually but surely slip out of the in-group. To stay in, you need a presence. How? This post will discuss what you need and how you to fake it until you fe...

Is It Worth Being an Insider? It’s a lot of work to manage your position in the group. And sometimes sacrifice. So do you even want to be an insider? The answer is usually yes Generally speaking, the in-crowd gang gets the most perks, the best assignments, the most forgiveness for screw-ups. There are more chances to strut your stuff and line up the next promotion. So, lots of good career reasons why it’s better to be in. But that isn’t alw...

Becoming Part of the Power Crew
Power for Employees / January 14, 2021

Becoming Part of the Power Crew Okay, you’ve decided that you want into the in-group crew. How? Working hard? Taking one for the team? If the world were fair, that would do it. But plenty of hard-working, dedicated, and decent guys are thanked for their contribution but never invited in. Hard work is a given. In-groupedness seems something else. First, don’t make it obvious Don’t look desperate to get in. Remember the cartoon with...

Preventing the Slide out of the Elite Group
Power for Employees / January 11, 2021

Preventing the Slide out of the Elite Group In the last post, we discussed whether you were being ousted from your work’s in-group elite. This post is about how to prevent the slide if you can. Verifying your status in the elite Before you panic, you need to confirm that you are actually on the way out. Don’t talk to your boss. I know it’s the most direct route—he’s the one who creates the elite. But think a moment. Suppose yo...

Are You Out of the Clique?
Power for Employees / January 4, 2021

Are You Out of the Clique? Yes, I know there shouldn’t be a clique at work or an in-group of any kind. But there often is, so deal. As I outlined previously, whether you are in or out can materially affect the progress of your career. Even if you’d rather not play this game, you at least need to know the signals so you can decide whether to pay attention. How to know if you are on your way out of the clique This can be subtle and ma...

Are You in the Gang at Work?
Power for Employees / December 21, 2020

Are You in the Gang at Work? Being Part of the Gang or Not Being part of a gang is a fun thing growing up but companies don’t like admit they exist at work—it conflicts with the one-big-happy-family thing they have going. They want to believe that everybody is equally valued and there are no first among equals. But, of course, organizations are set up exactly that way. There are in-groups at every level of a hierarchy, usually consi...

Are There Factions at Work?
Power for Employees / December 14, 2020

Are There Factions at Work? It’s a silly question to some If you have a boss who clearly favors some subordinates, and especially if you’re not one of the chosen, this seems a silly question. It’s as plain as the nose on your face that factions, at least an in-group and an out-group, exist. But for those either new to work or to the concept, it can be hard to tell. Are there factions at work? There probably are. It’s just human ...