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Tim -- I was discussing this very topic with some colleagues the other day. The trick is often not to blindside people and build reservoirs of mutual respect and support. We may not always be in agreement, the art is in finding ways to be hard on the issues while soft of the people.

Anne -- I observed a long time ago that my number one strength is love of learning. When under stress, I tend to go there -- and it's a great place to be as learning is good for me. I really enjoyed Tim's book and enjoy his blog

Hi, Valeria. Thanks for the pointer on the book: I'll keep my eye out for it.

Politics are there, and they are real...the only thing we can change is our reaction to them.

In social situations, rules of etiquette suggest boundaries on behavior that serve to allow people to feel more comfortable.

At the office, "politics" can serve the same purpose. (And it is through relationship that we can press the boundaries of politics. As you suggest, we'd never get anything done without the power of relationship.)

Be well!

Valeria - thank you for the great write-up on GUST. Much appreciated. You synthesized the review so well with others' thoughts.

You're so right about the key outcome being decisions, whether cross-pollenated or internal to a department. So few are willing to make decisions and stand by them for fear of the politics. Conversations are the vehicle by which we arrive at the outcomes we desire. It's an art which I am happy to see you champion each day on your blog.

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