Office Politics

As much as we want to say that it doesn’t exist or that “we” don’t have it, office politics has a very important role in any organization; the bigger the company the more prominent the politics. This is something that was not created today, nor the day before and it wasn’t invented by us either.

office politics

Foto Unsplash

It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, whether you practice it or just watch from the sidelines, office politics is in fact a collection of different opinions, coalitions, betrayals, conflicts of interest, a lot of feelings (positive and negative), communication and collaboration. I have deliberately left for the end the most important part: even at the office, politics is a whore.

If you misinterpret and feel that you are not part of it, you have greater chances to be on the list of “independents” and you clearly slit your own throat.

No, we are not talking about ass-kissing operations, but rather of being politically correct, the kind of attitude you are willing to have when interacting with fellow co-workers. I say it every chance I get: if a car is about to hit you while crossing the street on green light, doesn’t mean you should let yourself get killed.

Office politics exists (inevitably) because there are people with more or less power in the company. It would help you a lot to know who the real influencers are, who holds the authority, who gets the respect and who you should approach in order to get something.

Not lastly, formal or informal networking will help a lot on medium and long run.

These are some of the things that you should include in your political platform at the office:

  • Build relationships based on respect and trust when it comes to peers, subordinates or superiors;
  • Don’t get involved in gossip and public “executions” and don’t accept near you pathological “whiners”;
  • Stay true to your principles under delicate circumstances. Especially under delicate circumstances;
  • Obey the law, the politics and company procedures;
  • Keep your integrity;
  • Don’t rely on confidentiality. Sooner or later “secrets” come out;
  • Don’t use the company resources for personal benefit and I don’t mean the emails sent from the office address or driving your kid to school in the company car;
  • Don’t attack people, not literally nor figuratively speaking;
  • Be tactful;
  • Don’t get involved in other people’s fight, you might get hurt as well;
  • Political aggression is malicious, don’t take anything personally;
  • Be gentle and cordial. If you want to be respected, you primarily need to respect others;
  • If something doesn’t work now, find a different method, potentially with some other persons, using different channels, perhaps the first approach was not the right one;
  • It’s very hard to change the system, but it’s your duty to try;
  • Learn to have patience. A lot of patience;
  • Know your adversaries. Yes, inside the company there are many adversaries, you don’t just dance in the flower fields with everyone;
  • Respect your promises;
  • Learn when, what, where, with whom and in the presence of whom you can talk;
  • In case something goes wrong, you must know exactly what you did (didn’t) do. In the end it’s about your arse… reputation and it’s not wise to get drawn back (especially) when it’s not your fault.

Even if it sounds utopian, there are also win-win situations in politics, as long as all involved parties consider the common goal.

Good luck succeeding!

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