So, you held your breath, prayed to the higher power and struggled to fit in during high school. The popular and the arrogant got it all, whilst the nice ones merged in the background. Regardless of what happened, you graduated from high school. You escaped the close bound circumference of the seven deadly sins and went to college, worked harder than most. Alas! After those grueling hours of hard work and sleepless nights, you bagged your dream job. And what happens when you are finally there? It is high school all over again. The picture perfect sycophant, the inevitable office head cheerleader, the gloat and of course, the Quarterbacks.
Long story short, office politics is where there is a tension among the co-workers like back-biting, egoism, conflict in interests, difference in each other’s opinion and pure nepotism at times. Office politics is very persuasive. No matter how many times you tell yourself you will not be tangled in this web, you just cannot escape it. When you meet this taboo eye to eye, it’s only a matter of time before you to become a part of it. Do not be ashamed of it. The truth is most of the star performers have learnt the trick to overcome this inevitable boon or bane. It all matters on your perception.
Sounds exciting doesn’t it?
So let us get started on how to kick office politics to where it belongs to or pull it in and handle it like a boss.
Become the ultimate planner:
Here is what you must do. Plan. Observe. And then you must attack. You are living in the concrete jungle, and here it is the survival of the wittiest. Keep the following questions on your mind while you make a strategy.
· Who is the strongest around you?
· Who is the weak link?
· Who are the influencers?
· Who is the most respected and feared in the organization?
Get up-close and personal:
And by that I mean, subtly figuring out each and every one who poses a threat to you and their personal information. Find out who they dislike in the organization. Figure out who is head deep into interpersonal conflict. Spot the groups and the cliques. Find out why they stick together. Is it the friendship? The benefits via nepotism or is the respect and manipulation?
Start from ground zero:
After you have established the who’s who of your organization, get down to business. Never be afraid of making friends with the big shots. Make it more productive and less derriere kissing. Don’t stick to the influential ones only. Make friends with assistant, the copy guy or the mail man. Because information travels fast in all directions. Widen your network and refrain from sticking to one group of people.
Play nice to the rough:
I am pretty sure you have heard of the quote “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. It works wonders when it comes to office politics. The people who impart this politics in a harsh and cruel manner are often insecure and afraid on the inside. Let’s not get into the psychology behind why they do that, but here is what you have to do. Be nice to them. It will take a while. But when you are finally in the good books, you will notice life just got a tad bit better.
Finally, it’s you against the world:
The world doesn’t care if you are rich, popular or smart. The world doesn’t care if you are rude or nice. But guess who should care. You! If you can demolish people’s dreams and happiness and still sleep at night, go ahead. To each his own. But do remember, doing it the smart way will always benefit you in more than a million ways. Be the best version of yourself, stay positive, maintain your integrity, rise above the personal conflicts, be more assertive and less aggressive and lastly discourage politics within your own team.
So there you go, how to tackle office politics with a sense of pride and pinch of wit. It’s simple, like a post it or even a printing machine. Know how to manoeuvre it and use it, then it is all yours. Else, trust me it will be all over the place and you do not want that.
Office politics is the truth of life in any organization, whether you practice it, cherish it, avoid it or breathe it. It is all in your perception. You can use office politics at the expense of others or you could do it to better yourself and get your dream office with perfect office furniture and stationery to go with your diaries and planners. The choice is entirely yours.