September 22, 2020

121: The Win-Win Approach to Politicking at Work with Chrisa Zindros Boyce

Politicking often gets a bad rap, prompting feelings of disgust or unease. But when done right, politicking can actually benefit everyone involved and feel good at the same time. How? Because politicking at its core is all about building good relationships.

In this episode, I speak with Chrisa Zindros Boyce. Chrisa has been a consultant, executive coach and educator with Handel Group since 2009. Her clients, an international group of serial entrepreneurs, perennial corporate executives and established individual contributors hail from a broad range of sectors including Finance, Legal Media, Entertainment, Fashion, Technology and Government.

Chrisa teaches her clients how to define their leadership brand, strengthen their competitive edge and foster relationships that impact the bottom line. She helps them learn to navigate corporate structures and promote themselves in an ever-competitive and evolving world.

Chrisa and I talk about politicking: how you can build and leverage relationships at work to get what you want or need, and how to do it without that yucky, slimy feeling that so often comes with the idea of playing the politics game.

Members of The Modern Manager community can listen to an encore episode with Chrisa where we talk about The Power of One. In addition, members get the chance to win a free 30-min coaching session with prior guest Todd Palmer to help you get unstuck around crucial or difficult conversations, change, adjusting to the new normal, or whatever is on your mind. You must be a member by October 6th, 2020 for a chance to win the session with Todd. To learn more about membership and to join, go to

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Read the related blog article: Make Politicking At Work Relational Not Transactional

Key Takeaways

  • Good politicking is relational, not transactional. It doesn’t need to feel slimy or inauthentic.
  • We politic by spreading goodwill, trust, and support in the workplace through building one-on-one relationships
  • Your coworkers will only support you in a cause if you invest the time for them to get to know you and like you
  • Give first, ask later. Demonstrate that you are willing to first help before asking for help yourself.
  • Make clear through your actions that you care about the “We”, not the “I”. Managers need to show that they can set aside their personal wants to help their team get ahead.
  • Reflect on your personality, mindset or behaviors that take you away from being “We”- focused
  • It’s important to get to know both those above and below you. Those who report to you will only execute their best work if they know you, like you, and feel that you care about their best interests
  • Reach out for connections. Ask your boss to put you in meetings that will help build relationships, or set up a Zoom cocktail to get to know a colleague
  • Invest daily in practices that build up your reputation as someone who is collaborative and supportive. Mark times in your calendar to build relationships, whether through pop ins or quick messages
  • For every work relationship, the responsibility (the work we do) and the rapport (how our coworkers feel about us) components need to be in equilibrium


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