Sep 26, 2022
Office politics can oftentimes be difficult to navigate. On
today’s episode of IntHERrupt Linda talks with Sally Creel Roberts,
the CHRO for NavCare, about how to navigate office politics. Sally
has been in the field of HR for over 25 years. She is passionate
about people, processes, and conflict resolution. She believes true
leaders serve their team and succeed only when their team does.
What is politics in the workplace?
- From Sally's perspective, she thinks about influence, power,
perspective, alliances, and even backstabbing.
- Generally, most of us think negatively about office
Are office politics ever positive?
- Often people who have commonalities group together, and that
can be important for them to have their voices heard.
- If you listen and observe, office politics can sometimes be
How should we listen and observe?
- From Sally's HR perspective, it is important to be
- Be among your team and listen to things they are not formally
Can you avoid office politics?
- You can navigate politics, but you can’t avoid it.
- People have a tendency to have their own tribe, it’s human
How has negative office politics affected Sally?
- Being a woman in a leadership role, she has experienced times
where she has been excluded from going to lunch or making a
- She has felt sabotaged and not appreciated.
- She learned to not get mad, and instead say “I’m not sure I was
part of that discussion, can you catch me up on it?”
How has positive office politics affected Sally?
- Office politics has made Sally aware that she needs to
communicate and be transparent.
- Sally suggests that when you are making decisions, always
include people who are going to be impacted.
- Sally has learned that it is important to listen to concerns
because people appreciate being heard.
How does Sally navigate office politics?
- Keep a level head, and try to understand someone’s perspective
because their perspective is their truth.
- Know your culture without being judgemental.
- If you are willing to compromise for the best outcome, people
are going to listen.
How do you deal with office cliques?
- Sally likes to get to know all the employees. She recognizes
that she might not be a part of the clique but expresses interest
and isn’t scared to interact with them.
- She shows interest in everyone.
What would Sally say to women who want to be in a leadership
- Know your industry. Read articles, look things up, and come to
meetings prepared to provide valuable input.
- Be willing to learn, listen, and invest the time.
- Communicate that you would like to do something more. Take on
projects and volunteer.
Has Sally ever been interrupted?
- Yes! There have been points in her career where she thought she
was doing well but didn’t get noticed or appreciated.
- She has responded by graciously accepting feedback, respecting
authority, and learning from the situation.
For more content and information from Sally, connect with her on
Linkedin. Do you have stories to tell? Connect with Linda to share them.
This podcast is produced by TSE Studios. Check out other podcasts
by TSE Studios, including this episode’s sponsor, The
Sales Evangelist, helping new and struggling sellers close more
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Spotify, and Stitcher. Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen