Please, make sure you survive Office politics first and then thrive in it. It is an illusion to think that you can stay clear of politics in the workplace full of individuals who are politically savvy and have big ambitions.
People should have very little need to play political games in the workplace. We see that lying, manipulation, backstabbing, gossiping, fabrication of the truth have become the routine and in no small extent systemic inside the workplace. People enjoy playing politics while shafting others in all sorts of subtle ways.
Many people in the workplace do not know how political they are. Seriously, not a lot of them can be morally qualified to criticize others for engaging in workplace politics.
Just take a good look at the activities of everyone around you. You are likely to notice that your work surrounding is a nest of political vipers from; senior managers to junior managers, full-time staff to temporary employees.
No matter where you work as long as you’re employed, you report to someone. Sometimes you report to more than one person. Whatever it is, you have to manage the relationship between you and your manager, for various reasons.
How to influence favourably or change if possible, the thinking of your manager is imperative to a successful career. So people do all sorts of things including; small talks, self-promotion, backstabbing to keep shaping their managers’ perception of themselves.
Why Is Office Politics Unbounded?
1. Some say that they have nothing to do with workplace politics..
Well, you don’t necessarily need to have an interest in it for you to be involved. Office politics takes an interest in you, and therefore it comes to you.
2. Those who have mastered the game, especially managers spend most of their time working out the vulnerabilities of others and exploit that. Managers also push staff to compete with each other and then favour those who play the sucking up game.
3. Senior managers make junior managers be the fall guys for their own mistakes. The intense rivalries that pit managers against one another in the struggle for recognition.
4. There are instances where temporary employees say things to trigger disciplinary actions against full-time staff – hoping the outcome creates opportunities to secure permanent jobs.
5. Staff always go around their managers to talk to the others. People deliberately promote the blame game rather than focusing on the solution.
6. If someone makes a mistake, the person who spots the fault would be encouraged to send an email to the culprit and then copy everyone considered to be relevant.
7. You must have heard about the “Sacred Cows” who roam freely around the office corridors and workplace floors gossiping and spreading lies. Sacred Cows are the individuals who have been with your company the longest and own total freedom to do whatever they want.
They are well protected, and managers use these so-called untouchable people as shields and swords to attack and undermine their rivals.
8. In the rough workplace environment full of politics, your fate is made not necessarily by your achievements – but by what the other people label you with.
9. Do not be shocked to see seemingly friendly and embracing colleagues flip into scheming piranhas when a new manager takes over.
Learn or improve your political skills to thrive
Office politics can be a nightmare that is not going to go away. And, I cannot see how generalized advice can help anyone to navigate away from it. Because this is about dealing with people’s personalities on an individual basis. Remember that people are people – and they are very complicated.
It does not matter how good and professional you are at your job. If you do not understand this toxic game, then you need to learn how to deal and flourish in it.
The consequence of not participating in office politics is depression, stagnation, and general unhappiness.
To many people, the political game comes naturally. But for others, they have to learn. You do not have to jump right into the center of it to learn. Just start gradually by listening and observing everything that revolves around you.
Once you have learned, defend your space cleverly. Then find out when and how it is worth getting involved. Also, do not give in If someone is playing hard politics with you. Be confident, stand firm, and defend yourself robustly. You have no choice.
Even if you choose to avoid all the political junkies in your workplace, you’ll still have to work and put up with them daily. You can also decide to leave your current workplace.
But what is the point of going through job applications, interviews, and all tests – to end up back in basically the same nest of office political vipers?
So, grit your teeth and get on with the job. Politics is almost in every workplace, and it is not going to go away.
You can also read: Essential Tips Every First-Time New Manager Needs To Know
What do you think is the best way to deal with workplace politics? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box.