There are laws and principles that govern the workplace. We can either ignore them, acknowledge them or abide by them.
These laws and principles are the most visible when someone has been promoted, is moving forward or a new boss is in town. Some appear to be jealous, some try to quickly affiliate with the winner, to show their allegiance. Others are quick to sabotage and to compete.
I am not one to willingly participate in office politics. However, in my opinion, because knowledge is power, the best way to avoid politics is to know the rules. I like to know what is happening, how to read a room, to always be aware of my behavior, and to prepare myself for what is coming.
This advice is also valuable for minorities who encounters western group think in the office, who need to be realistic about their situations and want to understand how to advance themselves, how to protect themselves.
Wondering how to navigate office politics and whether or not you should be interested in it?
Office politics is a human concept and is inevitable. It is also very necessary and will go on whether your participate in it or not.
In office politics people seek power, leadership, influence and/or control of other people, more responsibility on their job.
Office politics is a particular hard skill because it requires that you control your primitive, impulsive responses to different situations and that you stay in high alert at all times.
Political animals in the office usually get what they want, to evade conflicts and sometimes create them between different individuals. Political animals:
Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, be viewed as being calculated and manipulative.
Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.
It is often used to sabotage, to manipulate, to deflect or to create a conflict between people.
Therefore, it is not for the faint of heart. Before starting, you must make sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.
Furthermore, keep in mind that abusing power on the long run does not lead to success.
Having greater goals in life will help you sustain and overcome opposition, avoid being pushed around by people or events. Your ultimate goals can be:
Either way, set realistic goals, expectations for yourself. Next, stay focus on your goals, use your goals to guide your decisions and your behavior.
Politics and power will challenge your weaknesses.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you assess your worth, appreciate your contributions at work and determine whether or not you can run with horses. This will also help you identify them in others, understand them, maximize their potential and forgive their weaknesses.
To be effective at office politics, don’t directly demonstrate or enunciate your strengths or weaknesses. It is best to wait for the right moment to do so.
In addition, you must seek to enhance your performance, your productivity, to develop competencies that are hard to acquire or hard to replace. and to deliver great results. Then, discreetly promote your results.
It is important to learn to keep your peace and your composure at all times by seriously controlling your emotions. This demands a lot of discipline and will help you grow as a person.
Furthermore, lead by example and take care or yourself first. Great leaders have power but stay humble and don’t abuse it.
To help you manage people, conflicts, to adopt the right behavior, to estimate your position and status:
Poor character leads to abusive, aggressive, masochistic, sadist behavior and office politics.
When I was working for a long corporation, one person in the office was being bullied. I was asked, as a team member, to participate in the bullying and to force the person to quit.
Most of my team members, for fun or for fear of retribution, would engage in toxic behavior towards this one person, put down false complaints and manufacture false rumors as well.
Without doing the same, I realized that sadistically beating down on someone, engaging in toxic behavior were not aligning with my core values and wouldn’t allow me to sleep properly at night.
To solve the solution, I simply listened to the request, spoke positively about the person, suggested to them that they had to find a better position and found a better place to work myself.
Networking is an important process, especially if your are shy and introverted. Who you know will determine how far you will get.
Here are some tips below that will help you be unbothered, to gain influence and build positive relationships:
It is detrimental to discern your friends from your enemies, your confidant from your comrade, your constituents from your compatriots.
Keep in mind that:
In conflicts or challenging situations:
To handle office politics, one must learn to appreciate change and adapt to it.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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