Whenever I talk with people about office politics, I get to listen to a number of monosyllables, which they say is synonymous to office politics. Favouritism, back stabbing, insolence, self interest and selfishness, not a list that sounds good, is it? But somewhere it does represent the darker side of human nature.
We all have faced it, or will definitely face it at some point of time. When you ask a person, if they are or were subjected to office politics, you generally get to hear all about the person’s struggle in the office, how there was the particular fellow who couldn’t stand his success and that these are regular things that happen at all the workplaces.
We see five things that you could learn from office politics.
1. Confronting professionally:
They say you shouldn’t knock down the bridging between you and your colleagues. However, it’s really hard not to be angry sometimes, especially when you feel that you have been taken advantage of. In that situation simply buck up and confront the person or situation professionally. Having experienced it personally, I think, people really respect somebody who admit their mistakes and confront a situation honestly. There could be times when things don’t seem to work for you at all.
2. Avoid being passively aggressive:
If I say that I’ve never gossiped at work, I’d be lying. There certainly are times, when you feel stressed or powerless, which in turn makes you possess bad attitude. It is difficult to not get involved in office politics, as we are not robots. Rather all you are required to do is to avoid being passively aggressive. As even if you don’t want it to, negativity builds on itself.
3. Learning things before being a part:
When you join a new place, try to learn about the functioning of things, before you start adjusting yourself in the new work environment. Understand the office culture, history and things that have been tried before. Take time to know your colleagues and direct reports. Be open and look out for new opportunities and not challenges.
4. Develop positive political skills:
In a book called ‘political skill at work’, researchers have identified four key competencies an employee gets to learn from office politics. They are social astuteness, interpersonal influence, networking ability and sincerity. What is so special about these skills, you ask? Well, all I can say is that those who are not politically skilled in these traits generally come off as manipulative or self serving. In other words, bad behaviour at workplace, shows how unskilled and incompetent you are.
5. Do things you hate doing:
Identify your weak areas and blind spots. Having done that, you’re sure to get better at project management and organising. Fear has always been a powerful motivator. However, you’re complacent if you are not afraid of facing it.
Job transitions happen quite often these days. You never know which job could land you in a mess at workplace. Professional relationships are an integral part of work culture. I, however suggest you that if it does not seem to work no matter how hard you try, them my friend, you’re probably not at fault and it’s time you switch.