Week 32: Mystification and Office Politics – #AlphaFemaleFriday

“ WEEK 32 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS ”

The original title of this chapter from Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office was called “Being Overly Concerned with Offending Others”, but the ideas which really stuck out to me were mystification in its relation to office politics. When I first saw the term mystification, my immediate thought was that it literally had something to do with the mystics. In this context, the mystification is actually a term which Karl Marx used to describe the process where those with power and affluence not only denied that they had such power and affluence, but they also denied that there was any problem between the social classes.


I do not go around calling myself a Marxist, but I think the mystification principle can easily be applied and compared to office politics. I recently found myself in a situation where I realized I was being provoked to make a move against my better judgement. In this particular situation, while this other person was not my superior in any way, they had the sole, coveted resource I needed to complete a project. Without going through them, there was no way for me to finish my assignment.


I realized that they actually enjoyed holding that power over me, and while they could easily hold up their end of the bargain at no painful cost to them, they sadly enjoyed watching me squirm to get the goods. This person was being passive-aggressive in nature, and also making both of our lives more difficult to conduct business. On top of that, just like Marx’s idea of mystification, they denied they were wielding such power and that there was no problem at all.


I think a few months ago, before I began my 133 Weeks to Success project, I would have turned a blind eye to this person’s bad behavior. I would have chalked it up to be bad blood, and may have even felt that I was the person in the wrong here. Now that I’ve been really focused on my personal life and career, I realized that I would not tolerate this person’s behavior in my personal life. Why should I tolerate this bad behavior in my career?


I decided to speak up about this bad behavior because, in the end, this passive-aggressive discussion was getting us nowhere. We both needed to complete a project, and even though it was clearly neither of our favorite things to do at work, that was no reason for either of us to be cranky about it. On top of that, I realized that because this person thought I was kind and amicable that it should be seen as a quality to take advantage. They made the mistake of confusing kindness with weakness. I just believe in getting work done with a genuine smile.




@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales                                                                                


Each week, I take a tip from Lois P. Frankel’s book, Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office, and explore how each of these tips affect myself and other women in similar positions on the road to becoming the women we want to be. There are far and few between who are a few steps behind me, and many more who are far advanced. I found that Lois P. Frankel’s advice applied to novice, intermediates, and experts alike. It helped me see that I was already doing right, served as a reminder to keep on doing what I was doing and how to keep that momentum going. The book also showed me areas where I could improve, and gave realistic tips to jump on board. There are a total of 133 tips, and explore one tip per week in a program I call: 133 Weeks to Success.

Join the movement using the hashtag #133WeeksToSuccess with posts which are posted every #AlphaFemaleFriday.


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