OFFICE POLITICS 101: Mastering the Art of Office Politics
“I cannot please everybody, I can only please myself”
This is only half-true to the politically-savvy worker. Why?
Take the example of this employee who never gets tired of going around saying her usual good mornings and compliments to everybody including the bigwigs. She almost won “Ms. Congeniality” for the Ms. U.S.A pageant but have you ever wondered why?
She is playing good politics in your organization. You do not think that hard work alone will get you on top, do you?
There is more to it than just being hard working, determined, and doing the job right to climb the corporate ladder. You will also be graded on how you play the game of politics and this is very crucial to your success. You have to understand that it is very important to understand the political playing field of your organization
Office politics is easy to play if you know how to do it. It starts with accepting the fact that it is a part of your work. The best way to start is to have conversations with the Ms. Congenialities of your organization.
You have to learn and assess your colleagues. Ask what motivates them. This can lead to the opening up of minefields, which represent their professional and personal agendas. This will be beneficial for someone like you as you learn some useful tactics on your way to the top.
Another thing that you might observe about the Ms. Congenialities of your company is their attentiveness to their colleagues’ problems and issues. Show genuine concern for their issues. Active listening skills will come very handy at this part of the game.
It is also good but tricky to encourage your colleagues to share their thoughts on things. Create light moments to initiate such type of conversation. This can also be done when you are both outside of the office.
You may try to do all these but it is always wise to put your interest forward because bigwigs, in real life, play favorites. Some of them do not really care about their employees.
Here are some thoughts to consider if you want to participate in the arena of office politics:
• keep in mind that the existence of office politics is a reality
• mingle with bigwigs and soon-to-be stars
• never waste time on has-beens and those with no-hope
• develop professional relationships with influential people
• plan strategically and be aware of office issues by becoming a confidante to your colleagues
After you have dispelled the myths in your mind and accepted politics as a part of your life, it is now time to maximize the strengths you have.
It is important to be aware of your talents so you can take a step forward. Highlight your talents by developing and implementing projects that will draw attention to your skills. Be willing to share these with your colleagues and at the same time, share the limelight with others. Give others the opportunity to shine.
Yes, it is true that you can only do so much and not please everybody but the key to winning in office politics is to wow the “powers-that-be”. Make them aware of the skills that you have and the things that you can do. Thus, you can use your talents to put you in a position where you can win the game.