We have politics involved in almost every aspect of our lives, including the office. When we think of office politics what comes to our minds is backstabbing, spreading false rumors, etc. However, there’s a lot more to it. No matter how hard you try, the crux of the matter is, you simply cannot avoid office politics. Every employee in any workplace is involved in some of the other forms of office politics to stay ahead. So, let’s take a look at these 7 tactics to manage office politics positively.
What Does Office Politics Mean?
According to author Marilyn Haight of BigBadBoss.com, office politics
“is the use of one’s individual or assigned power within an employing organization for the purpose of obtaining advantages beyond one’s legitimate authority.”
When a person uses specific tactics which are beyond his legitimate rights to gain a personal advantage in a workplace, it’s call office politics. A person cannot please everyone around them in the workplace. Workplace politics is all about the difference between people. Doesn’t matter how great a work culture you provide, you can’t avoid politics in your workplace. So, whether to love it or loathe it, office politics is a fact you can’t deny.
People engage in office politics mostly for their personal gains. Their sole purpose of getting involved is to reap financial, emotional, and even physical benefits in some cases. Office politics can be difficult to deal with, especially if you feel like a target. However, it is important to understand that humans have a basic trait of being political in most situations.
Office politics is being frowned upon. However, if tackled wisely, you can also benefit from them and dodge the negative impacts. You just need to have a little know-how. So, we’ve gathered the best 7 tactics to manage office politics positively and wisely. Read on to gain wisdom and be smart!
7 Tactics To Manage Office Politics Positively
Build And Grow Your Network
To change bad politics into a positive thing for you, you need to get involved in the network. Networking within your workplace will give you an opportunity to build a reputation among your co-workers. You may think that it’s mature to not socialize too much and keep yourself limited to a small circle. However, networking and forming alliances with your colleagues will help you reduce the negative influences and cast a positive impact on everyone.
Focus On Your Work
One of the major foul plays in office politics is when your colleagues take credit for your work. It is frustrating and infuriating, indeed. But the best thing to do in such a situation is not to retaliate. Doing this can backfire. You need to act cleverly in such a situation. Instead, focus on your own work and keep a constant record of it. Make sure you constantly update your superior and coworkers on the status of your work. In this way, you can prevent anyone from challenging your contribution to work.
Don’t Go After Revenge
It’s a natural instinct to seek revenge when a co-worker plays office politics on you. A sense of animosity is bound to develop and you might feel like retaliating. However, it’s important to keep yourself from losing your cool and professionalism by retaliating. By doing so, you might come off as petty. Most importantly, retaliating won’t solve any issue or your co-worker’s behavior. In fact, it will further complicate things. That’s why the mature way to handle such instances is to engage with the co-worker in a private conversation and sort out everything personally.
Develop Your People-Skills
There is no conflict in this world that communication cannot solve. Communicating effectively with your co-workers can go a long way in building relationships and shielding you from bad office politics. Strong interpersonal skills will help you build a strong presence and make yourself a presence in the workplace. To communicate effectively, you also need to be a good listener and observer. Along with getting your voice heard, you also need to make efforts to listen to other’s voices. Learn to speak, listen, to your co-workers and observe their reactions as well.
Don’t Get Involved In The Dirt
The most impactful thing you can do on your part to make your workplace more positive is to not get involved in the negative politics yourself. Just for the fear of missing out, don’t fuel any fires. The most important thing to do is to keep your distance from all the rumors going around in your workplace. Think of rumors as spam mails and just delete them. Also. to protect yourself from becoming a victim of rumors, don’t trust in confidentiality. Information when passed on, changes its form. So, remain professional, don’t indulge in gossips, and keep your life to yourself.
Focus On Promoting Yourself
In a workplace, it is easy to go unnoticed if you choose to be introverted. That’s why you can’t afford to keep quiet and your head down. You need to seize every opportunity to shine. Developing your personal brand is very important when it comes to marking a presence in your workplace. Use your network to grow your personal as well as your team’s brand. When you open yourself up to opportunities, you effectively get a chance to shine for yourself, your team, and your boss. However, always remember that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Don’t make the achievements all about yourself. Be a team player and give credit to your whole team.
Be The Change You Want To See
Last but not the least, you need to contribute to bringing about a positive change in your workplace. Work towards supporting the culture of your company which discourages any activity that brings negativity. The best way to do this is to be helpful and understanding towards others. Whether it’s an intern or your boss, don’t hesitate to help anyone in any way possible. Despite the personality of a person, even if you don’t like them, learn to respect them for their work and for who they are. Practice honesty, kindness, and empathy. Doing these small bits on your part will bring a bigger change and create a better working environment for everyone.