How to Live With Office Politics without Losing Your Cool
The word 'politics' is often misunderstood. Most people think that it just involves only those elected into power or individuals that are engaged in some form of power play in the top ranks of the government. They are right in the sense that it involves ways on how people manage power but wrong in thinking that it is limited to governments only.
In fact, politics is everywhere, be it in school, home, and in the office. It is something that we cannot escape. It is politics when we try to tell our teacher that one of our classmates is trying to get ahead in class by sucking up to another professor. It is politics when a sibling tells his parents that his sister deserves to go to the prom. Anything that has something to do with social interaction, negotiation, and compromise is politics.
Thus, it should not be a surprise when this is present in your office – the one place where competition is palpable and very much expected.
So, you are promoted general manager. Naturally, you are ecstatic, and you begin telling all your co-workers how excited you are with your new duties. Everyone seems happy for you except for a group of colleagues who do extend their congratulations but are not convincing enough to believe that they actually mean it.
At first, it does not really bother you as you move on to your new duties as a higher-ranking officer. However, you suddenly hear stories about how you tried to ditch work to watch your favorite game months back or how you mistakenly logged in a customer's information under a different one when you were just starting out in the company.
Why are all these coming out now? You might wonder. What's it for?
Welcome to the world of office politics; where nobody, not even the nicest person in the group, is spared from intrigue and tiny 'stories'! This should not be a surprise to you because any office setting really has some level of competition involved. When competition is present, jealousy can set in and silently wreak its havoc among staff.
In this case, the best way is to learn how to deal with it. There are many methods you can apply to rise above all the backbiting and shallow criticism. These all boil down to one single advice: ignore them and do your job the best you can. If you fight back, chances are, conflict will escalate, and more people will get involved.
You come to work not to be bothered with petty comments from other people. So just do your job and deliberately turn a deaf ear to politics. It will not do you any good to listen and allow these to affect you. Remember, if you succumb to office politics, your job will be at risk, not theirs.
Office politics is always present. Decide to rise above its pettiness and prove that you are more professional than the rest of the pack.