How to survive in office politics

Do you suffer from office blues? Does the thought of going to the office makes your soul shiver? Is it the same feeling you had during your 

school days when the mere thought of going to school made you feel sick thanks to the big bully gang of your class who were ready to pull you down and make fun of you given any chance? 

Don’t assume that you can’t handle office politics. It surely is not an easy task but it is very much possible. Here’s how to do it: 

1. Forgive & Forget: Don’t get mad or even. I know, forgiving and forgetting is easier read than done! However, as leaders it is important for you to look at the end result you want. Will holding a grudge help you reach your vision? Probably not. We are at work to do a job and I have yet to see grudge holding listed in any job description (not even in Other Duties as Assigned.)

2. Don’t try to change or resist company culture including dress, communication styles and office hours. Being different does not work.

3. Don’t complain:Like gossiping, complaining is a vice that’s hard to break once you get into it. Complainers are annoying, counterproductive, and have a habit of dragging others down with them. Bosses like problem solvers, not problem seekers. If there’s something about the company you don’t like, make yourself a solution to the problem, not a part of it.

Be a source of pleasure. If you laugh and smile a lot, but keep a professional stance, you help keep things light and fresh. Encourage people to feed off your good vibes.

4. Practice self-awareness. This is a life-long task and every day you can become a little bit more aware of how people perceive you. Just doing your job is not enough. You need to do it in a way that makes a positive impression on everyone else.

5. Don’t play with a person’s reputation: If you know that a person has got a bad name in the office circle, it is not an obligation on your part to believe in the story. Remember today you are on the other side of the court but then times can change at an instant. The same ball may drop in your court also, you may not be wrong , but still people may be saying so. Then what? At least some people will come on your side then. These can be the same people whose reputations you did not try to hamper during their troubled day

6. Manage your stress levels so you can avoid emotional displays of inconsistent behavior and inconsistent messages. Most emotional outbursts come from unmanaged stress.

7. Don’t participate in office politics: Try to keep yourself unattached from the whole mess. Just because people are badmouthing a person you also are not supposed to do it. You can take a neutral stand and observe from a distance.

8. Be approachable all the time – in your cube, in the hallway, even in the bathroom.

9. Network before you need to network. Being good at politics means that you are good at relationship building, and you can count on a wide range of people when you need them.

10. Talk to people
Work is about people. You work with people and for people. A faceless, impersonal work environment goes against this, breeding dissatisfaction and resentment. You should talk to people face-to-face whenever possible, reserving e-mail for those not in your office. When you make the effort to communicate in person, it shows a knack for interaction and good communication. So take the initiative and leave your cubicle to deliver a message.

In the workplace, isolation is the best way to be overlooked, if not spurned. When you refuse to be a part of the workplace, you might be setting yourself up to be the subject of gossip, or worse, the scapegoat of trivial problems. So don’t be an outsider and practice the art of one-on-one.

11. Interaction is the solution to many problems, communication gaps have the power to do a lot of damage and you could avoid that. You know a colleague has been badmouthing you, rather than returning the favour, you could actually go forward and talk directly to the concerned person. You can let him know how you felt about what he said about you.

I9. If interaction has not brought any results it is about time you raised your voice openly rather than suffering alone in a job or leaving it as a loser. You know you are right and in spite of your efforts nobody is paying heed. Remember – “Never start a fight but if a fight has been initiated from the other side, do finish it”. 12. Have a sense of equity: What is right is right for you as is for any other person. If you know this time you are on the wrong side, have the courage to come forward and accept it. You should take the responsibility for your wrongdoings just as you expect from others.

13. Keep track: Keep yourself updated with the happenings in your office. Information be it of any kind is always welcome. This will also help you in preparing for the future. Many a times you take some actions in the reflex mode but when you know the details of how is how, you can avoid this and as such avoid a lot of unpleasantness in future.

Leave a Reply