7 Ways to Deal with Office Politics
Politics at work is something which isn’t unheard of. Everyone faces office politics at some point or the other in their career.
From not getting the promotion you deserve to the peers who spread a rumor about you to the managers who delegate the important task to your colleagues and give you the unimportant ones. Office politics is rampant in all offices.
However, there are ways in which one can deal with politics at the office.
1. Transparent Communication
Establishing transparent and direct channels of communication either in the form of verbal or written communication is one sure shot way of keeping office politics at bay. This is especially effective when dealing with larger teams, as people tend to form their own opinions according to circumstances.
A direct and open form of communication helps build trust and respect for you among your peers and managers.
While you may be a dedicated and diligent team member and spend nothing less than 10-12 hours at work, how much time do you actually spend networking- building a rapport with your team members, juniors, and managers.
It is important to note here that while you may work well behind the scenes, but during the time of promotion and recognition, people only remember those who are in the front, those who have built relationships at work and a genuine one for that.
Many times, the reason office politics gets to you and unnerves you is because of your lack of confidence. People with low levels of self-confidence and self-esteem get easily disturbed by office politics and it affects them tremendously at work and to an extent, even outside work.
If you are confident, you can be better prepared to face or handle office politics. And if there is something you cannot control, your confidence will help you not pay heed to it.
4. Don’t be a Crybaby
Yes, you have problems in your personal life and are facing issues at work. But well, who doesn’t? That doesn’t mean you let it get the better of you. Be an adult. Accept that office politics exists almost everywhere and control your reaction. If you act as an adult, focus on your work, put in dedicated efforts and treat yourself and everyone else with respect, you have won half the battle.
Do not go around complaining to your boss/manager or HR at the slightest issue you face at work. Do not complain about your co-workers unless there is a grave sin they have committed against you. Learn to hold your dignity.
5. Don’t Take Sides
When trying to deal with office politics, it is easy to find yourself stuck between two individuals/managers who are at odds with each other. If you do find yourself in such a situation where both your immediate managers are trying to outwit each other and all this at the expense of you or your job not being done, don’t throw in the towel.
Try to bring both of them to a common ground of communication and business objective. Do not take sides, no matter how close you are to one of them. This helps build trust with both the parties and you continue to get the business objective achieved.
6. Try to Understand
Many times, it so happens that we are so obsessed with being understood that we forget to understand. A co-worker is spreading rumors about you or taking credit away from you- could there be a reason why they are doing so? Try and talk to them about it directly but calmly.
Try and understand what is it that makes them behave so. Sometimes, it helps break the ice and you might just have made a new friend.
7. Don’t Get Personal
Often we are so frustrated with the politics going on at the office or feel so victimized that we want to teach them a lesson and seek revenge. But the point to remember here is : DO NOT DO THAT. Do not reach a point where you humiliate or insult a person.
Remember, you work in the same office space and sooner or later, might need to work together with the person or seek some help from him/her. Also, do not forget that your managers notice how you behave with others. All this will come back at the time of appraisal or promotion.
You cannot always avoid or control office politics. It's easier to learn to handle office politics than to get affected by it and let it take over your personal and professional life and your peace of mind.