Here is a rather nifty process from the Harvard Business Review for getting over some people blockages when in a new job. The case study they use is when a younger new manager comes in over an ‘old timer’ whom had wanted the promotion. The method, called the 3R’s, turns your adversary into an ally by working with the emotions as well as the intellect. As the name suggests, it has three main steps:
Briefly, redirection points the rival’s negative emotions in another direction towards a third entity. With reciprocity it is important to give something before it is demanded and not to expect something in return, leastwise not at that time. Rationality is explain what will happen, subtly, if they do not some to an agreement. Timing is key and it all needs to be done in the early stages of a relationship. Here is the HBR article, “Make Your Enemies Your Allies” and gives more detail; well worth the read.
I have just got a new book “Political Savvy” and so will be adding other articles in around office politics in the near future. If this is an area that is causing you grief do let me know and we can do some coaching around how you can do better in this area.