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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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Fear can paralyze even the most successful people. To make it through the recession, though, businesses need people who can be fearless. Gayle Lantz, author of Take the Bull by the Horns, says that to move back into “thrive” mode, “You’ve got to figure out how to aggressively move forward.”

Turning your back on difficult employees isn't just a management mistake, it can also create legal trouble. That's why, when confronted with employees who don't do what's asked, it's best to devise a strategy for making the best of a potentially explosive situation. Although it may be hard to transform a difficult employee into a warm, friendly ally, you can take the following steps to make it easier for the employee to comply.

More pink slips are on the horizon. According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, 1 million more job cuts are likely in 2009. But, there's a silver lining among all the dark clouds of this recession, says the firm's chief executive, John Challenger, and it's this: Layoffs can be good news, in a strange way.

Pump up your managers with useful research they don’t have time to do themselves ... Sharpen your workplace instincts by playing The Office-Politics Game ... Soothe stress by first dividing triggers into two categories ...

Layoffs put retention on shaky ground at precisely the time that remaining employees' loyalty is key to your organization's success. Ignoring that "survivor syndrome" will only cripple morale further and generate more turnover. Communication is the key to overcoming it. Here's how:

There’s no escaping difficult, dastardly or downright nasty people at work. There’s always at least one of them floating around.  While you can’t control someone’s horrible personality, you can decide how you’re going to respond. That means polishing your EMS— enemy management skills. By killing your enemies with kindness, or at least identifying their M.O. and mitigating their effects on your workplace, you can rise above their noxious influence.


People who fail come from all walks of life. A handful of people, regardless of education, intelligence, manners, appearance or other obvious factors, rise steadily through the ranks and stay on top through fat and lean times. They are the types who, either consciously or instinctively, know the art of political survival.
 

Disputes between employees are common and inevitable. But if left unresolved, they can disrupt your department’s productivity, sap morale and even cause some good employees to quit. Supervisors and managers don’t need to become certified mediators to settle disputes. They just need to understand some basics about human behavior, practice the fine art of paying attention and serve as a neutral party who wants to resolve the problem.

What is the most important characteristic of a good team player?
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