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Authors offer advice for navigating office politics

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Dilbert is great. The cutting-edge cartoon, which appears in the Business Journal, allows us to vent workplace frustrations with laughter instead of anger.

But as dead-on as creator Scott Adams' wicked humor is, it isn't meant to be constructive. If you want to be politically correct when dealing with office politics, you may be better served by checking out one of these books from the Springfield-Greene County Library.

Call you nearest branch for availability, or visit the Web page at

http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/about/07-12-99.htm

and click on the book's title.

Being good at what you do is not enough. No matter what product you make or which services you render, work requires getting along with other people. That's the premise of "Work Would Be Great If It Weren't for the People: Ronna and Her Evil Twin's Guide to Making Office Politics Work For You," 650.13 L.

People, directly or indirectly, affect what you do and how you do it. When this constant interaction escalates to the level of office politics, marketing and strategy consultant Ronna Lichtenberg shows how the unspoken rules of the workplace operate, even when circumstances are neither reasonable nor fair.

Professional presence is a matter of individual style and comportment. D.A. Benton, who has provided executive development and career counseling in 16 countries, provides detailed tips on how to polish your presence in "Lions Don't Need to Roar: Using the Leadership Power of Professional Presence to Stand Out, Fit in and Move Ahead," 650.1 B.

You'll probably feel more comfortable with some of these suggestions than others, but you'll almost certainly find ideas that you can adopt without compromising your own authenticity.

According to a Chinese proverb, "If we don't change the direction we're going, we're likely to end up where we're headed." Conflict is easy and cooperation is difficult, says Albert Bernstein, a clinical psychologist who has worked with a variety organizations for many years.

When people at work do things we don't understand or agree with, we call them Neanderthals or some other pet name. "Neanderthals at Work: How People and Politics Can Drive You Crazy and What You Can Do About Them," 650.1 B, tells how to change direction, overcome the prejudices that make communication impossible and take the evolutionary leap into a more enlightened work environment.

A strength of the book "Problem People at Work: The Essential Survival Guide to Dealing With Bosses, Coworkers, Employees and Outside Clients," 650.13 W, is its dozens of real-life examples. These aren't textbook situations[[In-content Ad]]

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