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Project management 101: Dealing with company politics

Julie Lord

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As a project manager, you are going to have a lot to deal with during any project. There will be bumps in the road, and it is up to you to make sure that these bumps do not result in a complete disaster. One thing that you will often have to tackle is company politics. A lot of project managers underestimate just how much of an impact this can have. Below, we take a look at the different ways company politics can thwart your project, as well as providing some top tips on what to do about it.

Taking credit for someone else’s work

Credit grabbing is definitely something you are going to have to deal with at some point as a project manager. Employees feel irritated when someone else takes credit for their work or idea. It is, therefore, your role to make sure you are abreast of all the work that is being done so that the appropriate individuals are rewarded. In a lot of cases, management can receive the credit for work that their employees have done, which can create an atmosphere of distrust.

Spreading gossip about other team members

You’d assume that gossip would have been left in the school playground. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If someone is spreading gossip about another member of the time, it can cause team relationships to fall apart. As a project manager, you need to lead by example. It is up to you to state that lies and gossip will not be accepted, and that you expect mutual support and respect amongst all team members.

Supporting those with self-serving goals or views

As a project leader, you need to avoid gravitating towards people who share the same opinions and views as your own. Of course, it is human nature to do this, but you cannot inject personal bias. In fact, the best results often come from differing views and experience. You should make an effort to explore various approaches.

The blame game

Last but not least, we have the blame game. Senseless finger pointing needs to be eradicated. From the start of any initiative or project, you need to set the tone and clearly communicate this. Of course, accountability is an important thing in any project, but you should make sure that there is no finger pointing or laying the blame. This often leads to future cover-ups, mistrust, and embarrassment, as opposed to the improvement in results you may have been hoping for.

As a project manager, it is your job to make sure that company politics does not get in the way of your project. Of course, this can often be easier said than done. But, if you follow the tips mentioned above, you will give yourself a great chance of dealing with the issue efficiently and successfully. For further assistance, you could consider taking one of the available project management training courses . Project management training is a great way to learn about different methods and approaches for dealing with any potential conflicts that arise during your project.


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