Kathleen Kelley Reardon credits her parents for having jump-started her political skills. Now, those of us who didn't pick such a knowledgeable family to grow up in can read this book. Simply written and mainly jargon-free (with explanations for the jargon she does use), it's accessible to the educated layperson.
Dr. Reardon shows that while political skill is not *sufficient* for success, above a certain level it is generally *necessary*. She also shows that politics is more necessary in some places than in others -- which can save your sanity if you just thought all organizations were just plain political. (Not to mention, what the right political move is for any given situation varies very much between organizations, because among other things each group has its own culture. That's why you often need mentors wherever you are.)
In a nutshell, politics is about personal interaction. So Dr. Reardon gives you many different tools for understanding yourself, understanding others and managing how you deal with each person. For example, she repeatedly emphasizes relating your ideas to what the other person is specifically talking about.
She also includes help with gender communication -- important both for women on the rise and men who either currently deal with them or will do so. (Pretty much most women and most men, respectively!)
Dr. Reardon does what it takes to give those who need it a heads-up:
"As the politically astute know, speaking up before you know how others in a room think is naive. Many competent people fail to reach their potential because they can't get this simple fact through their heads. They convince themselves that their ideas aren't enthusiastically adopted because they're surrounded by imbeciles. They don't realize who the real imbecile is, politically speaking."
The beauty of Dr. Reardon's approach is that it neatly spans from overall objectives to strategy to tactics. For example, you learn (1) that strategic compliments can be a good idea to let everyone know that you don't hold grudges, (2) how to make them credible by weaving them into conversations and (3) how to make them more direct or subtle by saying, for example, either "Jim did a great job on the marketing, really boosting our sales" or "Our sales have skyrocketed thanks to Jim's great work on the marketing" (that is, by placing the person's name either at the beginning or in the middle or end of the compliment).
This is really Part I of a two-part series, Once you read and digested this book, check out It's All Politics: Winning in a World Where Hard Work and Talent Aren't Enough to take your political skills to the next level!
- Hardcover: 250 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (1 January 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385495277
- ISBN-13: 978-0385495271
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 24.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 522 g
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