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5 Tips On How To Survive Office Politics

5 Tips On How To Survive Office Politics

The term “office politics” often carries a negative
connotation. It is something that exists within every organisation and company,
no matter how big or small. When people enjoy their job, it’s largely due to
the fact that they enjoy the work they do as well as the people around them. Contrary
to this, when people struggle with their jobs, it’s usually because they’re
treated poorly at work. Although the work itself might be okay, the people may
not be very nice and the energy can be negative. Here are some tips applicable
for both employers and employees on how to deal with office politics.

1.”Positive and negative attitudes are both
contagious but only one is helpful.” – Ken Poirot

Positivity is infectious. When people see you coming into
work with a can-do and optimistic attitude, it encourages others to feel the
same. If there are problems in your organisation and people are openly
complaining about it, make a point of distancing yourself from their
negativity. It’s important to promote a happy and healthy workplace
environment. Just because some of your colleagues may seem unhappy, it doesn’t
mean you should despair about your company too. Find the right balance of being
understanding to other people’s frustrations, but try not to let it get you
down in the process.

2.”The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.” – Margaret Atwood

Have people at work told you things in confidence, whether
it be personal or work-related? Good. That means people trust you and you’re
seen as a person they can rely on. The last thing you want to do is breach that
person’s trust and divulge their business to other people. Make sure to respect
your colleague’s privacy and be careful not to fall into petty office gossip.
It’s important, at times, to remember to keep your professional relationship
with someone separate from the one you may have with them outside of work.

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3.”Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds
discuss people.” – Socrates

‘He said, she said’; one
of the most detrimental things that can destroy the dynamics of an office is
office gossip. Nothing good can come from it, and although people may wish to
engage with you about the latest scandal that happened at the office party,
they will respect you less in the long run for entertaining such fruitless
matters. Try to rise above it. A good way to do this is to change the
conversation and move away from any sensitive subjects. For example, if someone
is commenting on someone’s management skills, try some free association and
change the topic to something that’s related to them or their team, that isn’t
related to the gossip. Alternatively, you could just politely leave the room
and say you have work to get on with at your desk.

4. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” –
Charles Dickens

Be helpful. We all have objectives and responsibilities in
our roles, but if we can find the time to go out of our way to help a colleague
out – do it. Does someone need a little advice on a project before they present
it to others? Does your colleague need a lift home in the same direction you’re
going? If it’s not going to cost you too much trouble or time, then help them out.
In the long run, this will help to build up loyalty and respect with that
person which will help to strengthen your office relationships.

5. “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the
second is to be kind, and the third is to
be kind.” – Henry James

The easiest way to avoid problems with people at work and
stay out of office politics is to get along with people. This doesn’t
necessarily mean you have to be best friends with everyone or socialise with
them outside of work. It’s just important to be professional and pleasant with
your colleagues, whilst also feeling comfortable enough to be assertive when
you need to be. Make sure you’re diplomatic and courteous regarding any issues
that arise. And remember: office politics are impacted by both work-related
goals and personal factors. Whilst certain people may have hidden agendas, you
can hold your head up high, as long as you remain a hardworking and loyal
employee.
What are your tips for surviving office politics? Let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.
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