Politics and Projects

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

“Because it’s you, I’ll do it.”

Some people seem to have no issue getting others to bend over backwards, put in a good word or sign that cheque. According to Crystal Richards these people all have one thing in common – a knack for politics.

‘Office politics’ often gets a bad rap, but in this podcast, Crystal speaks to Elise Stevens about how project managers can navigate the politics of an organisation in a way that boosts their relationships.

Crystal is an experienced project manager and talent development consultant who knows the difference between networking and gossip and why you should always get to meetings early.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Being politically aware within the organisation allows you to understand who holds the power and writes the cheques, and who can best support you in your role.
  • Authority does not automatically translate into political power within an organisation. Administrative and executive assistants wield a lot of influence.
  • It’s tempting to avoid office politics altogether but staying under the radar means you may miss opportunities.
  • Overlooking the politics within an organisation can inadvertently ruin relationships and put your project back.
  • Mastering the politics of a project requires getting out of your seat and building relationships through face-to-face interactions with stakeholders.
  • Informal interactions and small talk can be ideal for getting people to open up on a personal and professional level.
  • Small talk is not gossip. Gossip is not helpful, but networking and friendly banter is crucial.
  • People want to work with people they know, like and trust.
    Your teammates are your advocates. If they see you as a leader, they will reflect both you and the project in a positive light.

About Crystal Richards:

Crystal Richards is the principal and owner of Mosaic Resource Group, a talent development consulting firm dedicated to helping business professionals better themselves in all things project management, communications and leadership.

Crystal is a dynamic trainer, results-oriented facilitator and versatile project manager with more than 16 years’ experience in healthcare management and project management, working with private and public sector clients.

Crystal is a certified project management professional, a PMI agile certified practitioner, a member of the Agile Alliance and a member of the Association for Talent Development.

You can check out Crystal’s blog for videos on project management and leadership, or connect with her on LinkedIn