Coffee with Robbie #12 – How to win at office politics every damn time

Welcome to episode 12 of coffee with Robbie, and today I am going to talk about something dear to everyone: “Office politics”

I am going to give you tips on “how to win at office politics every damn time” I posted an article of this topic on LinkedIn about a year ago. I got over 500,000 views. People hate office politics. They have no idea what to do when there is office politics. Let me tell you how to win at office politics.


When I was an IT consultant, I would spend a lot of time with clients and meeting people. I think that is why I am good at understanding office politics. The first thing I do when I work into a new company is try to understand who causes the drama and try to stay away from that person as much as possible.

There are always one or two people that cause the office drama. These people have probably been there for a long time and they do not care about causing drama. The first thing I do is to identify who causes the drama. I ask my colleagues. It can be the vice president. What I do is try to understand the person. For example, if the person is very sensitive in nature.

What I do is try to be careful of what I say or email to that person. It is like walking on eggshells because. I do not want to cause any drama. Understand who cause the drama and stay away from that person at every cost. The good side of it is. If you become friends with the person then it is to your advantage. However, you do not become friends with them by making them angry or starting any drama.


Too many people keep talking in meeting when people do not need to talk. What I do is, when I go for these meetings, even though I have been there for a while. I will not talk generally. I will listen. When you shut up and listen. You will start observing people. For example, people texting each other within the meeting. I can tell who amongst them are friends and who does not get along with others. I will shut up and take notes. If it is my turn to bring up a point or I have something important to say then I say it. I try to keep my talking as minimal as possible.


The email that you always respond to is not relevant. 99.9% of people do not need to receive the mail you send. If you reply all the time. You might say something that makes another person angry. It will help and reduce the amount of office politics you encounter. If you have a question. You can message the person privately. Alternatively, you can call the person personally. If you wire it. It becomes more difficult to get feedback. Stop replying to “all”


Find the person people are most scared of whether it is logical or not. Follow the fear. If you understand where the fear is, you can avoid it. If you are new to an organization. Get a chart and map out the people that you should and should not talk to. If you follow the fear, you will make a lot of progress.


I have caused a lot of drama by sending emails that had some trigger words. For example. I sent an article to someone, in the article I asked some questions about training. I did not know who I was sending the email to. It cause a huge fiasco. About 15 emails were sent to people because of this email that I wrote. I did not know that “training” was a trigger word. The company was going through a re-order. People were being trained to train their new resources. Know the trigger word. Avoid using them. Especially, over an email.


If for any reason you want to start a drama. You can start it on a Monday. If you start it on Friday for example. Everybody will be angry over the weekend including yourself. If you get a rude email on Friday. Wait until Monday. Your anger might even reduce as you wait. Start it on Monday. Do not start at the end of the day. Nobody wants to go home angry.

These are my six tips to win at office politics. It is an office killer. Try to avoid it at all costs.

Understand where the drama begins and be on the good side of the drama. I am always a big fan of building relationships with people. Understand who the real leaders in an organization are and who you should be building relationships with. The better off you are with the person the better chances you have of the drama not following you. Usually it is avoidable. Especially, in big organizations.

Know the trigger words. Shut up and listen. When you are in a meeting. Seat back and observe other people. You will see where the office politics are. You will see the friend in the organization. If you are going to cause drama, start it on a Monday. Stay away from the people that cause the drama.

Thank you very much.

I hope you start winning at office politics

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.