Hello, friends in
As a career strategist, I’ve had the honour of being able to help numerous professionals land their dream job offers. As much as we don’t want to believe that office politics exists in many workplaces. Unfortunately, they do and it comes with the territory of working in most organizations.
So just to clarify what our office politics now, I am sure you have your own definition of what office politics is but, essentially “The premise behind office politics is all about the idea of using one’s relationships, one’s connections, for their own personal game. Meaning there’s a lot of schmoozing happening, there’s a lot of side conversations that are happening. And people are being able to get opportunities are able to move ahead.
Not necessarily based on the quality of their work but more based on who they know and, who they’ve been able to develop relationships with, so there’s a bit of favouring that happens amongst the teams. certain managers prefer certain people over others and so that created drama and negatively and gossip and so overall I would say that that’s what office politics most people can agree with that’s what entails.
So if you’re someone who seems to be struggling in an environment where office politics seems to be rampant. Then this article is for you. Here are my four key strategies on how to deal with office politics. Now I go into full detail into these strategies. The first thing I want you to understand is the underlying message behind all of them and i.e.
“In order to truly navigate office politics successfully, you have to set yourself APART.” Setting yourself apart means developing a strong personal brand and when you can set yourself apart from others in your organization and really stand out from the crowd, what’s going to happen is it’s going to give you an opportunity in space to still continue to grow in your organization and not get lost in the drama.
Strategy 1: Demonstrate high-value, high quality work daily
A great way to stay away from drama and conflict at the office is to be a superstar at the work that you do now why is that because if you are known to be someone who to delivers consistently high-quality work then you’ll be trusted by your manager and senior managers to do your work. You will be given more autonomy and independence which means that you won’t be as closely intertwined and working with those who like to stir up drama as often because you’re not going to be on the same level as them. Essentially you are physically setting yourself from the rest of the crowd in a good way. So go ahead and start shining.
Strategy 2: Because the expert at your job
Now this ties in to demonstrating high-quality work but part of navigating office politics and making sure that you’re immune to it as much as possible is to become someone who is irreplaceable in your company, ideally what this means is that you want to specialize in a certain area in your company or organization that is crucial to the business. For Example: Let’s say that you work in a large bank and you happen to work in a specialized area such as Risk management, compliance, social entrepreneurship, or supply chain management. Then you want to really know the work that you do and you really want to know that specialized area and become the go-to expert or advisor or knowledge champion in your company for this specialization and this is all because becoming the expert gives you immunity from the drama yet you still have opportunity to grow in advance in your company because you happen to be one of the very few key employees in your organization who is truly needed because you’re the expert and so like I said you will be immune from the office politics immune from the drama as much as you can be and still be able to move up.
Strategy 3: Engage in important conflicts but avoid the petty ones.
Many people think that avoiding office politics means you have to avoid all types of conflicts entirely and stay away from it. But actually, I don’t feel this is true If you truly want to be someone who can demonstrate your value, your influence, your brand, your level of importance in your organization. Then you can’t go into work every day covering your eyes and ears, there are two types of conflicts professional ones and personal ones. I say that you should engage in professional conflicts. Professional conflicts, of course, there are time and place for you to engage in them but they’re basically instances where there are disagreements between you and let’s say your boss or someone on your team on how certain processes are being run.
For example : Inefficient
If they are costing time and money.
If it hinders you being able to do your job in the most effective way.
Then those are the types of professional conflicts that you should stand up for. You should politely disagree with senior management if they are making decisions, that are limiting you from being able to successfully perform your job and that has an overall negative impact on the organization and its customers.
For example, let’s just say that you work in a bank and they are discussing a potential new rule or policy that’s going to hinder you from really successfully helping your customers in an efficient way. If that’s the case then feel free to raise your voice and make your stance but don’t make it sound as though it’s a complaint you have to have a backed up evidence-based solution on what they can do differently and suggest that.
So you gonna politely disagree but you are going to offer a solution as well. But you can see that these professional conflicts are way different from those petty personal conflicts that a lot of people get into with their co-workers you do not want to be around those drama-filled employees, stay away from them.
Strategy 4: Stay away from the talkers but the friendly and courteous
So, for example, Suzy the office gossiper even though you know that she knows everything about everyone in the office, you don’t necessarily have to become enemies with her you could still be friendly and courteous, just don’t get too close to her or Joe the male version of the4 female gossiper in the office. He likes to also talk a lot you can still be friendly and courteous and polite but don’t get too close to him either. The key here is you still want to be friendly courteous light and to all your co-workers in your company and if they decide that they want to tell you things or ask you specific types of questions want to try to find out information just don’t give it to them just be very short and sweet with your conversations and walk away so here is an inspiring quote that I think wraps up my message nicely.
“You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.”
So there you have my four key strategies on how to navigate office politics and still get ahead in your company without being tied to the drama. If you like the article please share this article with your friends and if you have any suggestions please comment below.