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Office Politics

There are few things as uncomfortable as dealing with difficult workers. Yet dealing with them successfully is a key to business success.

Business Management Daily is known for our sound, field-tested advice on favoritism in the workplace and other challenging office personalities and situations.

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At real estate settlement firm Title Source, President and CEO Jeff Eisenshtadt doesn’t care who’s right. He cares what is right. Around the office, Eisenshtadt has posted signs containing what he calls “isms”: They’re the words of wisdom that he expects his employees to live by—and that he uses during their evaluations.

Join The HR Specialist in celebrating the first-ever “HR Professionals Week,” a five-day tribute to all that human resources pros do to make American workplaces more effective and American businesses more successful. From Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 5, we're offering a full week’s worth of free resources and activities available to all, including open-access podcasts and white papers on the critical issues shaping the HR profession.

It’s a myth that good work makes a good career—rather, good office politics makes a good career, says career columnist Penelope Trunk. Here’s are four common-sense rules to follow. They'll make people want to work with you, and boost your credibility and influence in the process.

Major problems can erupt when supervisors have to manage people they just don't get along with. Smart managers defuse that tension by focusing on tasks, projects and results—not personalities. Feel free to use this 'Memo to Managers' article to educate your supervisors. Paste the content into an e-mail, company newsletter or other communication.

Anybody can lead people who are hardworking, pleasant, thoughtful, respectful and fun. The true challenge is whether you can handle PITAs, which stands for either Pains In The Ass or Professionals Increasing Their Awareness, depending on how kind you are. Here are a few types of PITAs and how best to lead them.

About a third of the 15 employees who work for ClearedJobs.net in Falls Church, Va., bring their dogs to work. So it was pretty easy for Chief Marketing Officer Kathleen Smith to convince the group to pitch in when she decided to send care packages to U.S. military working dogs in Afghanistan.

Though work mates care about you, they pay more attention to messages that show there’s something in it for them, says Susan Mason, a principal of Vital Visions Consultants. So, for example, if you want something from your boss—whether it’s approval on a new printer purchase or a more flexible schedule—figure out what benefit she will realize. Figure out “What’s In It For Me?” from her perspective.

Local, state and federal agencies could have a key edge over corporate America during a recession: job security. In a CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,900 workers, 88% said they were interested in public-sector jobs. Their reasons:

The recession’s battering of the private sector isn’t the only thing driving job applicants to consider government employment, according to a new survey by CarerBuilder.com. Job-seekers also know that government agencies are among the few employers with budgets that might go up.

True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. False. Managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas. Share this article with your supervisors to help tap employee creativity.

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