Use These Top 5 Smart and Practical Tactics to Deal with Office Politics
Before beginning this article, let me ask you this, what comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “office politics”? Does the term office politics comprise of “backstabbing”, “spreading lies and rumors, “buttering the right people”? These days, every workplace is like a minefield. They have a political environment. One mistake or a miscalculated action can get you fired or even worse. I am sure many people will advise you not to engage in such petty games, however, if you want to advance your career and reap the rewards, then you must know how to stay ahead of everyone and get yourself noticed in the workplace.
Although most of us do not realize it, we have all engaged and taken an active part in office politics to a certain degree. Office politics may comprise of a biased employer to scheming coworkers who never miss the chance of going behind your back and belittling your achievements to your boss. Rising above petty mind games and politics can feel like pushing a boulder up a very steep hill, which forces people to give up and quit in a blink of an eye.
So is there any effective way to rise above and come out of all the negativity and drama unscathed in the corporate world? Of course, there is. Here are 5 useful techniques which will help you to outlast office politics effectively:
Study the Organizational Hierarchy
Politics in corporate workplaces often tend to revolve around the organizational structure. Needless to say, most of the expert players who are good at this game, get themselves familiar with the political influence and the various levels of organizational hierarchy instead of determining who to suck up to, based on just rank and job title. To figure out this thing, you need to ask yourself particular questions like “who are the main players and have a lot of power and influence?”, “who are most popular and are respected?”, “who is the mastermind behind the business?”.
Establish a Strong Network
This is one of the best ways to beat your competitors in the game and build a strong reputation and gain recognition for your talents and hard work. There are many people who do not feel that it is necessary to communicate and maintain a good relationship with their colleagues. That is where they are wrong. Familiarizing yourself and bonding with people outside your team enable you to create an effective support system which may come in handy in dire circumstances.
Set a Positive Example
Corporate culture and politics are ever changing. Instead of reacting or conforming to it, you should know that you hold the power to exercise certain amount of influence to it. You can start by setting a good example and bring about subtle changes in the organization’s culture from within, in one way or the other. There is a good old saying which always works: “what goes around comes back around”. In other words, whatever you do to others, it always has a way of coming back to you. If you decide to play the game, play in a good and harmless way and who knows, you might be able to change the game and come up as a winner.
Do Not Surrender to Peer Pressure
It is not necessary to indulge in the negativity and follow the actions of everybody around you, even if you feel that it is the smartest thing to do. You should not be afraid to be different than everybody else and stand out among your peers. Using unethical and corrupt means to beat others in the game can lead to your own downfall. You should stay true to your own self and not feel compelled to sacrifice your values and conscience to win in this never-ending race. Just take it easy and relax, utilize your own tactics, craft your own path by doing things in your own way.
Do Not Gossip
Believe me, it is very easy to get lured into gossiping in your workplace, however speaking negatively about your colleague does more harm than good. According to the founder of Complex Ventures, Nick Bailey strongly advises against engaging in a discussion where you are forced to badmouth and talk trash about a colleague, send a strong negative message and can lead to the destruction of your own good reputation. Never take this bait because the next time you actively gossip behind someone’s back, it might backfire and get you fired from your job.