5 Important Tips On How To Manage Office Politics
It’s often frustrating when a colleague goes over your head to the boss. Well, this article will give you tips on how to manage office politics in your workplace.
In business institutions and corporate circles, it is often argued that office politics does not exist. Many think it doesn’t matter; which is the delusion of its non-existence exists.
In some business organizations, it’s as plain as day and night; while in others, it is shrouded in unsuspicious ways.
But seriously, office politics does exist. Business experts believed that ‘you will die a slow, painful career death’ if you believe that it doesn’t!
Once there is a gathering of people, family, community, etc., a certain level of politicking rears its head. So, it is wise to know how to handle yourself in such situations.
What is Office Politics?
Michael Alesko defines office politics as “the misuse of power in the work place”. (Today’s Careers).
This tells us that office politics isn’t entirely a bad thing, but as far as its use goes, it is a double-edged sword.
It’s a game of positioning and manipulating to gain advantage; including getting what you want in your work place.
Office politics is also about avoiding threats, building allies, and maneuvering landmines.
In most workplaces, office politics has its place in all interpersonal relationships.
Therefore, below are some tips on how to manage office politics in your workplace
5 Important Tips On How To Manage Office Politics
#1. It’s Better to Play than Pass
While working with others in a place, don’t bury your head in the work and think it will glide over you.
That is, manage any kind of office politics that directly relate to you, and turn them in your favor.
Don’t just take sides. Avoid the mess of backstabbing and gossips.
#2. Always Think Before You Act (Or Speak)
You have a choice on how you react to issues. So avoid acting on your emotions or losing your control easily.
This will help you avoid being labeled a pushover or a bully.
Many leaders often make the mistake of talking just to make people hear them talk, or acting so their presence may be felt.
But, good salespeople know they end up losing a sale while talking too much. Effective leaders know when to talk and where to stop.
Thinking before you act, or speak is therefore important. Practice it and you will be a better communicator and a more effective leader.
Instead of micromanaging your subordinates think about what you can say ‘to encourage them.”
As a good communicator; write and speak clearly, this will make your team have clear understanding of the business goals.
#3. Focus On Your Area of Influence
At work, there are often issues or areas where we have very little or no control over.
It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates or set goals which affect your personal interests.
However, bitching and complaining doesn’t change anything; instead focus on making the best of the situation.
The more time you spend worrying about things over which you have no control over, the more stressed and reactive you become.
Thus, you should focus on doing things that is actually in our control, so that you can influence your concerns.
By doing so, you will earn some respect and be noticed as someone with a positive and understanding disposition.
Be positive, flexible and adaptable; because your employers and employees love these attributes.
#4. Keep Your Friends Close, And Enemies Closer
While working with others, tt is better to have the right people back in your camp, and try to give them reasons to trust you.
Make yourself likeable; as most people usually y fell guilty when they harm the guy everybody likes.
Why would you keep an enemy closer than a friend?
The closer an enemy is to you, the more intimately you will get to know their capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and whereabouts.
Keeping an enemy closer than a friend can serves as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow.
You may use this knowledge to your advantage sometimes later. By knowing more about your enemy, you’re much less likely to be caught off-guard.
With deep understanding, you may begin to view an enemy with less animosity, antagonism, and perhaps begin to know them as friends in time.
#5. Don’t Get Personal
To be honest in making the most out of your dream, get things done, and to move ahead; people’s egos are going to be crushed; and you are going to make enemies.
However, business is not personal, so don’t take things that way. Instead, try not to get angry or emotional about everything.
There are decisions that go your way, and decisions that don’t. Once tables turn, then it’s personal, and that’s the mistake.
People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted by others. Avoid outbursts, (if you must, do it outside the workplace).
Unless you were disrespectful and purposely underhanded, you shouldn’t lose a second of sleep worrying about other people’s feelings.
After all, business is survival of the fittest, and those who can’t understand that should get out of the game.
Wrapping up: How To Manage Office Politics
Understanding business ethics, people behaviors, attitudes and their styles of office politicking are great ways to achieving success in the corporate world.
As leader, employer or employee, whatever you’re doing in your vision of success should consider what your other team members or work colleagues expects from you.
Though changing the way you behave may takes a little longer than the instant effect you get from changing your image – but it can be done.
While doing that, you have to play the game and learn how to manage office politics in your business, home, and office environments.
Don’t shy away from office politics because it’s not just your work that speaks for you; but how you work is seen by the powers that be.
Yes! You want to look good, but you don’t necessarily need to pull someone down to accomplish that!
By Okuma Munachi
Subscribe to our Newsletters now if you want to receive latest updates about innovation, business trends and marketing related topics. You’ll get a free eBook!