Believe it or not, almost every workplace is a political environment!
While many say that they don’t engage in such games, there’s actually little truth to that. Even though we probably might not realize it, we are all engaged in office politics to a certain extent. While the word POLITICS implies doing absolutely anything to get ahead, office politics is really all about building relationships to get things moving at work.
As an employer your take on office politics may differ significantly from those whom you supervise. While managing office politics can be a difficult thing to do in diverse companies, trying to maintain a healthy, productive political environment is crucial for success in today’s complex workplace.
Being an office politician might come naturally to some, but to others it can develop over time out of necessity. With that being said, one fact remains the same: top performers are those who master the art of winning in office politics.
Here are some smart tactics to How To Play Politics In The Office and win the political game, the “Ethical” way!
Learn and Master: The Fine Art of Tactful Boasting
Most employees think they have only two choices when it comes to self-promotion; remaining under the table or sounding arrogant, but neither works! Good self-promoters know this: They’re always planting seeds for the future. They understand that doing a good job doesn’t mean that others will actually realize it. In order to become a top office politician, develop a personal track record as someone who gets results and don’t dwell on your mistakes or others will, too. Celebrate your successes gracefully and tastefully. You never know; it might actually rub off on your coworkers!
Keep Revolving Among Your Mates: Don’t Stick With One Group
By sticking with the same people at work, you are more likely to miss out on the important information or the factual news in your company. Mingling with your coworkers during lunchtime or coffee break is the best way to keep up-to-date with all that is happening in the different departments. Office politicians don’t cling too tightly to one crowd; they master the art of making good conversations with both peers and bosses. With that being said, make sure that you don’t become the office “social butterfly” to the extent that you aren’t getting your work done!
Build Positive Associations With Influential Profiles
Let’s face it; some people have more power than others, either through their position or personality. Understanding the informal and formal network is key to becoming a successful office politician. Find out who’s who in the organization and identify where the power and influence lay and who are the real influencers. Who is highly respected by everyone? Who has the last word in discussions? Once you know the profile power figures at your company, build relationships that are based on trust and respect with those who have the informal and formal power while avoiding empty flattery. Pay attention to the way they speak, network and work, and develop your strengths in a way that emulates their behaviour.
All Said And Done: Be Real to Yourself and Others
Standing up for the right things, being known as a person who is honest, dependable and fair are indispensable qualities of a true office politician. Practice what you preach; do what you say you will do. Whenever you hear something, take some time to evaluate how much credibility it has. Rise above personal conflicts and never rely on confidentiality. Assume things will be disclosed and so decide what you should reveal accordingly. Doing so, you might not be liked by everyone, but you will be respected by most for sure.
Make Yourself Audible: Have Your Say
You know that weekly 30-minute meeting that you all hate because it seems to drag on forever? These meetings might seem irrelevant and very common but they are one of the most important aspects to give attention to when it comes to office politics. Not only this is your chance to be with the people who have the most influence over your promotion, but your are being evaluated by both your peers and boss. Office politics demand that you come prepared for these meetings. Even if you don’t have much to say, be prepared to say something. If you miss your shot, rest assured that your competition will be waiting to pick up the ball.
Office politicking happens whether we admit it or not.
Some people try to be noble and refuse to play the political game; they try to focus their efforts on their tasks and hard work hoping that they will be noticed and rewarded. But in fact, there is no such thing as not being part of it. Business is all about competition; from time with important colleagues, prestige, recognition, bigger salaries, to – of course – power.
Don’t hate the game of politics; step out of your comfort zone and play it to win!