We all know politics has reached every nook and corner of the society, Office environment is not different. Whether you like it or not politics in office is a reality. It does not matter where you work Government or Private sector organization, small or big office, politics is a fact of life. Earlier one understands these dynamics better the chance of your survival. This article is all about what is office politics and how to stay away from negativities and manage office politics effectively
Why Politics happens in Office environment?
Normally people start politics as a strategy to gain advantage over others. As they grow up in the system it will become their identity and lifestyle which they can’t live without. It will become dirty politics when people seek advantage over others expenses and try to move over someone. Most of them are busy in indulging politics for various reasons knowingly or unknowingly. It is like a whirlpool it keeps dragging people into without the knowledge of the person. One has to be vigilant enough to keep away from all such things. Unfortunately these things can damage the morale of the workplace but who cares.
Today one of the critical skills needed to survive in the office environment is skill to deal with office politics. We all spend half of our working life in the office it is better we keep away from these things to have a work life balance with peace. Next time when you get into new environment these 8 points should help you manage office dynamics effectively, It will help you to understand how to manage an office effectively and also teaches you surviving office politics read on..
How to deal with politics?
1. Observer the organizational culture
Organization culture plays a vital role in level of politics played in the office, Observe people around you till the top and understand what works and what not. These pointers will help you manage better
- Keep your integrity to highest level
- Be professional and positive
- Assertiveness helps, not aggressiveness
- Keep away yourself from gossips, rumors and loose talks
- Do not get into conflicts
- Constructive criticism is welcome.
2. Understand the internal dynamics
When you join any organization first and foremost thing to know is who is who in the company and where the power center lies. Normally political epicenter is near the power centers if not power center itself. Next you understand their network and hubs and spokes how it operates .. few pointers …
- Know who is who ?
- How many groups exists
- Who get along with whom? Who don’t?
- How does influence flow to what extent?
- What is the basis of influence (dependency, power, weakness, position etc)
3. Choose your friends carefully
Socializing is double edged sword, it is practically impossible to have a good office life without networking with people around you. Good social networking will improve your energy and influence, Choose your friends carefully; ensure you move around with people who have a good network and positivity around them. People who are always cribbing about one or the other things will have a problem with you as well, so avoid their influence on you.
4. Stay connected and informed
There is a fine line different between being informed and gossiping, while you should avoid gossiping at all cost and yourself with little distance; however nothing stops you to be informed. Paying attention to what is going on around is important to prevent you from becoming pawn in the larger game. Networking always helps you to be on the positive side, One has to use network to stay out of politics and promote yourself to beyond your team. It is very important to highlight your achievements beyond your boundary in a positive way.
5. Avoid Gossiping
Avoiding people who are in always gossiping about the others is the first step to start with. Some people tent to gossip more than required and that is the mind set of most of the negative people. Try to avoid such gossiping groups. If you think only women gossip you are mistaken, men too gossip too frequently. Try to avoid gossiping situation and excuse yourself from that environment so that you are not part of negative snowballing exercise. If you cant avoid and it is getting too much be frank enough to tell people you don’t want to hear such story. Office politics is very dangerous and gossiping more dangerous to your career you never know when they will start about you.
6. Keep yourself positive
Positivity keeps you away from such people who are politically motivated. Though management is full of politicians they are good in recognizing people with clear hands. No matter how smart you are if you indulge in politics people around will notice and judge you. When are surrounded with Hippocrates and opportunist it is difficult to maintain positivity in you, however it is well worth the effort and you feel yourself good end of the day.
When you are feeling uncomfortable or someone trying to hijack you in the office, speak out, it is very important to keep the communication clear and draw the line what is ok and what is not ok with you. And also you can discuss with people who have influence of these people if be needed. At the end of the day you are here to do some job and that is what should give you satisfaction and bread, most of us spend our youth in the office environment.
8. Move out
There is a limit for anything and everything you can take. With office politics if you think negativity is more than positivity it’s time to move on. If you have done all the above suggested things, still not able to live with it, if this stops your growth, its worth looking out. Some time if you stay there for long you may lose confidence and your chance of getting new opportunity is lost. Obviously there is no guarantee that next office will not have politics however it will give some time changing place and environment helps you to build your career with contentment.
Whether you like it of not politics in office is a reality, degree may vary depending on the maturity of the organisation and the culture built in. Wherever high competition exist there will be a politics you are expected to face some inconvenience. One has to embrace this reality and learn to live with it, earlier you learn better the chance of survival. It is challenging but possible to be a nonpolitical person in the organization, for that consciously you will have to come up with strategy to manage your behavior and keep away from negative environment. In a long run these politicians will not survive as they would have lost their core strength to their weakness, but they will be strong enough to stop your growth and they are everywhere.
Surviving politics itself has become a greatest skills in today’s competitive environment. Hopefully some day some university will start teaching how to manage those things as a course(if not started already). For now this guide should be sufficient to start your strategy .
Good Luck !
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