Office politics may well be the reason why some employees never get promoted. It may also be one of the top reasons why employees resign from their jobs. How can you deal with it? Is it possible to do away with office politics?
Here are some tips on how to survive office politics.
Clarify goals and expectations. Write down your goals and expectations from the office. It helps to clarify your expectations to avoid disappointments and even heartaches.
Know the rules. Learn the dos and don’ts inside the office. Don’t do what is prohibited and make sure that you “cover-your-ass.” In a very competitive workplace, it is very important to protect yourself against possible enemies and competitors. “Cover your ass” means getting receipts for every financial transaction that you have. Being excellent in your work and making sure that you are beyond reproach in your dealings.
Clarify non-negotiable principles. Know where you stand on issues inside the office. This will help you weather the heat inside the office. As long as you know what you want and you know your principles, you will not be carried away by mere orders or by mere gossip by officemates.
Choose your battles. Know when to fight. Not every office battle is worth fighting for. Know the battles that you can and will fight with. As much as possible, fight the battles that you know you have a chance at winning. Otherwise, you have to learn the next tip.
Learn how to let go. This is an extension of the previous tip. When your superior wants to transfer you to another brand or to other places that you don’t want to go, talk to them and tell them how you feel. But you should also learn when to let go. Otherwise, you might be seen as a stubborn and inflexible employee.
Don’t gossip. Don’t fight fire with fire. Gossip can be very damaging. Even if some information seems harmless, don’t count on it. When people give you “privileged information” don’t pass it along even if it seems harmless.
Be excellent in all you do. This is the way to become “beyond reproach.” By being excellent, people will not find fault with you, except of course if you overtake them for promotions. But being excellent is a sure way to catch the attention of your superiors.
It all boils down to relationship. Office politics boils down to issues of relationships. If you know how to relate with other people in the office, they will learn to respond to you in amiable ways. If you become snobbish and hard-to-reach, then your officemates just might ignore you or actively oppose you.