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How to deal with the Office Politics
Before getting into the methods in which you can deal with office politics, let us first learn about it and what it really entails. Politics play a big role in today’s corporate world, so it is safe to say that no organization is immune to politics. Politics has taken a humungous toll in every corporate and social association. Over 55% of employees in the job sector partake in workplace politics. What exactly do you think of when you hear the word “office politics”? If you think of backstabbing and sabotaging employees, the spread of malicious rumours and unhealthy competition, then you are on the right track. You cannot ignore the politics in office, but it is safe to stay as far away from it as possible. Even though this is a pervasive thing at the workplace some companies in India may consider “office politics” as a taboo word. Corporate politics prevail due to the dissimilarities present in the people working together who tend to have conflicts of interest and different opinions manifested with each other.
Working in any industry, you will be affected by office politics which will become the most stressful part of your job. You can like it or hate it; you cannot run from it because this will be a part of your life in any organization. You can either face it with confidence or not get involved at all, which will help you to keep your morals and values intact. There are two types of workplace politics that can influence your life; one is “good” politics which will help you grow in a fair and appropriate manner and the other one is called “bad” politics which will only give you needless sufferings and a negative vibe. You can easily deal with sly co-workers by managing the situation in a professional manner without involving any kind of drama. You don’t need to be afraid of office politics, because at the end of the day it all boils down to human communication and relationships.
Every workplace is influenced by politics to some extent, because some people do not know how to keep their professional life separate from their personal life. They bring all their personal insecurities, emotions, needs and ambitions into their office which hampers the environment in a very negative manner. The differences in personality and opinion can be difficult to manage when everyone has the urge to be successful. We often seek to influence people’s choices in a straightforward manner which can give rise to a bad relationship, because people care deeply about their own decisions and might not appreciate other’s opinion. It is humane if you want to increase your professional power, but doing so while taking the same away from your co-workers is not appreciated. There are different types of people who like playing politics at work; Flatterer, Gossiper, Lobbyist, Saboteur and Credit thief. You need to develop skills to survive and move on from these negative influences.
The ways in which you can professionally deal with office politics are as following:
- Be aware of your choice – The basic human reaction is “fight or flight” in politics. Nobody likes to be involved in politics; therefore, an instinctive reaction is required to deal with workplace politics. After properly analysing the organizational structure you can choose let go of all the unnecessary elements that influence politics. In order to deal with a toxic work culture, you need to be aware of your surroundings and you should have the ability to deal with every situation. You need to cautiously choose you reactions to these situations. You need to recognize the circumstance and react accordingly.
- Make friends – You might have very little control over issues in the office, but you can fix this toxic work culture by involving yourself and solving it. If you can make your co-workers your friends, then you will not be feeling excluded, and there will be no need for negative office politics involving you. People with the tendency to bully others might want to isolate their victims, so it is better to have co-workers on your side and you will be less likely to be taken advantage of.
- Focus on the influence – You need to figure out the influencing factors that landed you in the political situation. Instead of feeling angry you need to assess the circle of influence. Playing the victim card cannot work in your favour, therefore you need to have an empowering technique at play to overcome the feeling of helplessness. You will have an understanding and positive workplace environment if you use the approach of introspection.
- Understand first, before being understood – The reason for office politics can be due to a misunderstanding between people. Both parties might feel unjustified. Before imposing your opinions onto others, try to learn from them and figure out what they really want. This is a disarming technique that can help you in the long run. You need to have an empathic understanding of others and you need to trust them more.
Office politics can be a nightmare if not dealt with correctly. You need to be a strong person in order to work for the corporate world. You need to understand how to separate personal from professional in a smart manner.