Office Politics: How to Deal With It Safely?
Most people say, “I hate office politics! As long as I am doing my job well with high esteem and above moral grounds, I am good.”
Well, sorry folks but you are dead wrong on this!
Human beings are political and social animals. This is a reality: man cannot live without politics.
Politics is not only confined to politicians and leaders of nations but it is all around, including in your work place. If three or more persons are gathered around in one setting, there will always be politics whether you like it or not.
Instead of blindly insisting on the ideal world that you have in mind, it would be better to understand and know the inner workings of office politics. You do not want to be the subject of it in the future, right? So, it is best to arm yourself with information about office politics. After all, knowledge is the best weapon that you have.
In the first place, office politics is not as bad as how other people picture it. It is essential in the decision-making process and consensus building inside the company. You can make politics work for you rather than against you. It is possible to participate in office politics without being unethical in the process. You can still do this in a very principled manner.
To do this, you need to have power in order to make it through office politics. It is not bad to gain power especially if your position entails you to have it, but to play it safely and ethically, you need to be:
• in your best principled behavior, which means you have to practice reliability, honesty, and professionalism
• focused on the goals of your organization even if this means that you have to initially set aside your own advancement and success
• skilled and driven to advance the goals of your company but do this within the grounds of good character
How do you deal with competition or rivals? Respect the opinions and goals of rivals and adversaries. This does not mean that you agree with them but instead you recognize their opinions.
Act in a very trustworthy and honest way even if your rivals are not acting such because this can help earn the respect of the higher ups. Good deeds spread like wildfire among executives.
Here are some other ways to deal with office politics. Rest assured that this would not send you off to go look for another job:
1. Be focused on your work. If you want to keep your soul while playing politics, try hard not to divert your attention to dirty games, gossips, and issues. Know your goals and keep that in mind. Learn to have good judgments on things.
2. Be committed to excellent work and build good working relationships with your colleagues. This will keep you near the eye of some “politicians” at work.
3. It is always best to delegate tasks and not to control everything. Potential leaders are good in delegating and empowering others to do their job well.
4. Be in touch with yourself. Always make a mental inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. If there are some things you need to fix within yourself, get the appropriate training and help.
5. Everybody hates being the subject of gossip, so stay away from it as far as you can.
6. Develop that calmness within you. The calmer you are, the higher your productivity, and more people will consider you professional.
7. Never declare a crisis unless you are sure of it. Overreacting is not a wise thing to do.
8. Avoid accusing people of anything. Maintain a reputation of being fair and unassailable because people will think twice too of attacking you.
The wisest thing you can do while staying in a shark-infested organization is to be alert and aware of the things that are happening around you. If you can rise above it, it would be better. At least you will be able to see things in a clearer perspective and avoid being trapped in the web of dirty politicking. Always be on the safe side of the water but keep your guard high.