Avoiding Office Politics

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by Nomcebo Nene

Office Space DVDOffice politics is a result of work related issues and rarely personal issues. In most occasions we find ourselves bound to certain conflicts and changes at home, our personal lives and especially in the work environment. However, the only control you have is how you respond to these situations. While we do know that office politics will never end, it is a way of life and one can never completely run away from it. The fact is people always have something to say (be it good or bad) and unfortunately this creates a platform of intensity and superiority. With that being said, there are ways to diminish your involvement with all the drama if you are already finding yourself in the deep.

  • Be who you are: If you are yourself all the time, there are no worries about how you should act. Do not act like a servant to some co-workers and a master to others. Be aware of your position within the company’s hierarchy, but do not let that affect your words. In order to avoid the political swamp, make everyone realize that you are exactly the person that you present.
  • Questions should be private: If there is something which is truly bothering you about your company, raise questions to your employer in private. Do not bring those questions up with co-workers or other individuals. State your opinions of a situation in a calm, professional manner. Do not use the common areas as a forum to air your personal conflicts with the company’s decisions.
  • Say only good things: It is hard to resist engaging yourself in office politics however when you are asked your opinions about a co-worker, talk about their strengths. Engage the egos of the other members of your team by spreading only compliments about your co-workers. If you have not interacted with someone, tell the truth.
  • Walk away: If someone starts gossiping about people within your office, take every opportunity to walk away from that person. Change the subject or say something good about the person.
  • Stay positive: Keep a great attitude about your office. That smile is contagious. Every office needs a little spot of joy. Keep only positive individuals around you. Everyone has problems and sorrows in their life, but work is not the place to talk about your personal drama.

As much as office politics has been seen as a negative hindrance we don’t have to see it that way. You can always use it your advantage by realising that some battles are just worthless and there is no point entertaining it. There is no point in fighting a losing battle. Always remember to stay focused on your goal, be firm but kind and most importantly, DO NOT BURN ANY BRIDGES

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