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Office politics: It's a Minefield Out There

By Richard Pachter, Knight Ridder

Book Review from the Boston Globe
The Office Survival Guide: Surefire Techniques for Dealing with Challenging People and Situations
Marilyn Puder-York
McGraw Hill

Books on office politics, I must confide, are invariably more entertaining than the authors probably intend, due to the necessity of including a multitude of anecdotes to illuminate the sundry lessons they offer. Author Marilyn Puder-York's tales of woe, replete with colorful characters and unfortunate (but commonplace) circumstances, provide the usual vicarious delights. But she fully explores each option in a wise and real-world way.

A typical case explores the unhappiness of an executive passed over for promotion, despite being amply qualified, according to her self-assessment, which Puder-York does not dispute. She then probes a bit at the executive's other assumptions, revealing her lack of proactive communication with the boss who'd promoted another in her stead. Additionally, the author points out her too-casual workplace wardrobe, which failed to support the image of the role she'd sought.

The larger message is to pay close attention to details that may seem less relevant to the job at hand but are clearly useful in getting the idea across to the boss that one is worthy of advancement.

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