When you think of “work politics,” what comes to mind? Making the right connection to get a job? Hiring a qualified person whom you’ve worked with before? Not getting promoted because someone’s niece or nephew needed a job? If you are looking for a new perspective on work politics, business consultant and psychiatrist Dr. Peter A. Crist will give a free presentation, “Negotiating Work Politics” on Saturday, January 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton.

Dr. Crist defines work politics as “the extent to which decisions in the workplace are based on who you know rather than what you know.” He will use real-life examples to discuss how to deal with negative work politics, as well as explore how work politics can result in positive outcomes.

This is the third in the social orgonomy presentation series related to work satisfaction. “Are You Satisfied with Your Work Life” was presented in January, 2013. Based on its success, Dr. Crist offered “Are you Satisfied with Your Work Relationships” last January. Orgonomy (pronounced orGONomy) is defined as life energy. Social orgonomy examines how people interact in social environments.

In evaluating the role of politics in the work environment, Dr. Crist notes the importance of understanding what motivates people to do their best. He offers an example of what motivates managers in a company with whom he currently consults:

The general manager thrives on exciting people. “His title should be CEO — Chief Excitement Officer. He’s great at getting a group enthused about what the company has to offer. He needs this to motivate himself.” He can intentionally use this aspect of his character to inspire his employees.

The company’s operations manager, on the other hand, is “motivated by organizing things and putting together a good system. He is shy and not the person to send to do big presentations but the one to organize them. Though both individuals have different approaches, their boss understands what stimulates and excites them and has each doing the work that best suits them. That’s a positive use of ‘work politics.’”

“If you are satisfied with your work, you will naturally be motivated. Work politics can either get in the way of that or support it,” adds Dr. Crist. “A lot of what I talk about may sound like common sense, but the problem is if you think that it goes without saying, it probably needs to be said.”

Dr. Crist is the founder of ergonexus LLC (www.ergonexusllc.com). The name comes from the combination of work (the Greek word “ergo”) with connections (the Latin word, “nexus”). Since 2003 Dr. Crist has served as the president of the American College of Orgonomy in Princeton and on their faculty since 1982. He has given more than 100 presentations, seminars, and workshops.

Negotiating Work Politics – Open Discussion with Peter A. Crist, M.D., Saturday, January 31, 4 to 6 p.m., Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Free. RSVPs encouraged by calling 732-821-1144. www.orgonomy.org/events.html#negotiating.

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