OFFICE POLITICS AND HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT
Practicing "good" politics allows you to advance the interests of you and your team fairly and appropriately.
Politics in the office cannot be ignored, especially if we work at big companies. Maybe some of you are not familiar with politics in the office. Let me explain to you first. According to Mind Tools, office politics are a fact of life in any organization. And it is possible to promote yourself and your cause without compromising your values or those of your organization.
Practicing "good" politics allows you to advance the interests of you and your team fairly and appropriately. And, being alert to the "bad" politics around you helps to avoid needless suffering while others take advantage.
How political is your office?
All workplaces are political to some extent, simply because people bring their emotions, needs, ambitions, and insecurities into their professional lives.
We all want to be successful, but we do not always agree about what this means or how we should achieve it. Office politics arise when these differences of personality and opinion become challenging to manage.
And we often care deeply about the decisions that we make or that others make about us, so we seek to influence people's choices. We can be straightforward or underhand about this. It's natural to want to use or increase our power, but we might do so in a way that takes energy away from others.
I have been interviewing some workers from various professional backgrounds. They also face some strong office politics in their workplace. With a humble heart, they share with me how to survive in office politics.
Stay focused on your task
Gossips, uncurated news that people always talk in your office rooms, you cannot neglect it. But you have the authority to control your life.
Just focus on your work. Anyway, nothing beats the result of hard work. If you already worked very hard to pursue a manager position, but you got some issue that someone outside has been chosen to chair that position, it’s okay. We believe that there is a better place in the best time for your turn.
Always be authentic
Your biggest asset will always be your authenticity. Mean what you say, follow up on your commitments, and do not be the kind of person who constantly gauges public opinion before acting. Authenticity is a must in the office. It will put you in the “trusted” column with your colleagues.
Neutralize negative politics
You can help make a workplace more positive by not "fuelling the fire" and joining in negative politics. For example, avoid passing on rumors without carefully considering their source, credibility, and impact. And don't rely on confidentiality. It's safer to assume that whatever you say will be repeated, so choose carefully what "secrets" you reveal.
Remain professional at all times, and don't take sides or get sucked into arguments or recriminations. When a conflict arises, remember that there doesn't have to be a winner and a loser. It's often possible to find a solution that satisfies everyone.
If you're voicing concerns or criticism of your own, be confident and assertive but not aggressive. And make sure that you take an organizational perspective and not simply a selfish one.
Don’t get personal
In-office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.
People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel good about it, for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.
To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies that you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.
Seek to understand first, and it starts with you!
The reason people feel unjustified is that they feel misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting others to understand us than in understanding them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.
Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you know where they are coming from, they will feel less defensive and understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.
Trying to solve without first understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.
Office politics abound when motives and intentions become suspect. Making a deliberate effort to connect with no agenda—by chat, email, phone, or virtual meeting— shows a genuine desire to support others in the organization. Something as simple as a chat message or email saying, “Hello! I hope you’re well!” reminds your co-workers that your intentions toward them are positive and supportive.
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