Using Investigative Negotiations to Build Your Influence
We often think about internal politics as a bad thing. I propose that rather than thinking about building political skills, you think about building skills that will allow you to "Influence with Integrity".
Negotiating is one of the skills in this area, and a Harvard Business Review article by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman suggests a technique called Investigative Negotiation. In this technique, when you encounter a roadblock, rather than focusing on your position, spend energy on trying to learn "why" behind the other parties constraints, interests and needs.
The more you learn beforehand, during and after a negotiation about the other person's interests, the more likely you will be able to craft a direction forward that meets most of yours as well.