How to deal with office politics?
Whether you despise it, appreciate it, rehearse it or dodge it, office politics is a reality of life in any company. There will inescapably be people who love to jockey for position, some love to spread bits of gossip, and others wish to get ahead by spreading their own form of the truth. Office politics have been the reason for anxiety, firing, and transfers since the idea of offices were initially established. Workers have three options when confronted with a politically charged workforce: deny that politics really exists; choose to disregard the political scene; decide to work inside of the framework. As a general rule, the initial two choices have the same (mostly negative) consequences, while the third can furnish you with knowledge and success.
First and foremost, it’s vital to comprehend why playing politics is so unavoidable. Work entails dealing with individuals, and folks are, whether we like to admit it or not, emotional beings with conflicting needs, hidden (often unconscious) predispositions and insecurities. Our associations with our colleagues — with whom we both collaborate and compete for advancements, for a coveted task, or for the supervisor’s consideration — can be very complex. Now, not everyone is friend or foe; many people are somewhere in between. What’s more, a larger number of individuals than you may might suspect are lying to get forward or gossiping as a way to trade information, vent their frustrations, and bond with co-employees once they don’t trust their leaders. Put all of this together and you’ve got a great politically-charged work atmosphere.
Maybe because of the pessimistic connotation, numerous individuals see office politics as something to be stayed away from as much as possible. Yet, the fact of the matter is, to guarantee your own success and that of your projects, you must explore the minefield of Office Politics.
All in all, since you can’t generally maintain a strategic distance from office politics, how would you manage it? Here are a couple of rules to bail you out:
- Understand the Current Power Structure: Within any organizaion, there are two sorts of individuals with power: individuals who have formal power on account of their position, (for example, your boss) and individuals who have informal power in light of their performance, (for example, the businessperson who handles most important customers). At times, there is a third type of power person — somebody with such charisma that people naturally like and support. Power positions are not static, so you ought to routinely watch the flow inside of your work environment and make note of the individuals with the power. Since individuals with power have followers, you’ll additionally need to watch which “camps” your co-workers fall into.
- Avoid Ever Crossing a Person With Power: It can be just as hazardous to challenge or dispute anybody who has an excessive degree of informal power as to do so with your boss. This isn’t to imply that you can’t or shouldn’t attempt to prevent somebody with power from settling on a choice that will adversely affect the company. Rather, when you really feel somebody in force is harming the association, you may need to build partnerships and eventually get somebody with more power to understand the issue – and let him/her handle it.
- Use Workplace Politics to Your Advantage: Office politics is normally associated with negativity, but you should use the political panorama of your office to your advantage — for promotions, funding of pet projects, and even helping co-workers acquire greater success. The primary step is to constantly volunteer to complete extra assignments or assignments for somebody who has power, in this manner showcasing your capacities while winning support and acquiring “points” for going above and beyond. At that point, when you feel you merit a raise or need some help, you can cash in those points for their support.
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