The Game are about to begin – Office Politics

The Games are about to begin – Office Politics

How many times have you found yourself in the middle of an uncomfortable gossip at work? Or stuck in a rut because you were part of the ‘other side’? An increasing number of employees rank workplace politics as a major obstacle in the way to professional success. Whether we like it or not it always has been and will continue to be a fact of life, and the first step to beating it is accepting it. Whether it’s about you or about someone else behaving like ‘the three wise monkeys’, will not be enough to get you out of such a situation at the workplace. So what should you do and NOT do when office politics try to run you down on a frequent basis? Here, what Hanan Nagi, Coach, Speaker, Founder and CEO of HNI Training & Coaching advises:

  1. Don’t fall for the “in confidence” line – No matter who says it and what they say don’t consider you are the only one you knows. Similarly don’t trust easily and reveal something that you shouldn’t just because you said it “in confidence”. It’s bound to get out today or tomorrow.

  2. When in Rome, don’t do as the Romans do – Just because someone did or said something nasty, don’t respond with the same vehemence and anger, because that means you just joined the bandwagon. If you’re not on either side and don’t want to be, keep your cool and stay out.

  3. Become a smart observer but don’t get carried away – Detach yourself from the situation and take an observer’s seat. Now relax and look at the situation from a different perspective. You will see things will become clearer. You will begin to uncover who is doing what, who is following who and what each person is pursuing, whether it is promotion, flexibility or just more control.

  4. Focus your energy on yourself – When everyone else seems busy taking sides, playing tricks and wasting time, you get your act straight by making yourself more useful i.e develop yourself; the best investment you can ever make is in your own abilities and knowledge. So get learning!

  5. Don’t be afraid to mingle – Do not avoid or get intimidated by politically powerful people in the organisation. On the contrary, make an effort to get to know them – they may share many of the conflicting emotions which you go through. Build healthy relationships beyond work with people from multiple networks. Be the person that everyone likes and respects and whose contribution is valued.

Remember, all professional relationships must be built on mutual respect so avoid meaningless flattery otherwise you will eventually lose your self-respect. Be friendly with all employees and managers, no matter what their ranks are. People come and go within organisations, with the office landscape changing accordingly. Your competence should outlast all of these transitions and this is where there is scope for career growth beyond the politics.

Happy Working!

If this article has inspired you and you are looking for ways to combat Office Politics, then HNI’s ‘Business Ethics for Working Professionals’ is the right course for you. For details about the course click here

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