Corporate politics is unavoidable in any organisational structure. A corporate worker needs to employ specific strategies to either stay clear of negative politics or participate effectively and positively in it. Dealing with these political issues can be complex, but the problems can be solved and made easy by following these strategies.
No matter what your opinion is about corporate politics, it is a fact that politics is an inseparable part of organisation structure. In its crude form, corporate or office politics is dealing with the differences in work ethics, culture, opinions and conflict of interests with coworkers. This is inevitable because when people work together, they do not just create long-term relationships. Sometimes differences can also occur between them.
However, there is also a more common but negative kind of corporate politics. This kind of politicking includes gossiping, spreading rumours, flattering, etc. Hence, you have to deal with the politics and make your way through it. In addition, you are set to gain a fortune if you handle it positively. Thus, there is no need to be afraid of office politics.
This article seeks to discuss the strategies you can adopt to deal with the differences and still work in a harmonious way. In addition, this article will also brief you about how you can navigate through the negative politics in the office premises. The following are a few strategies that may help you deal with it:
Stay Clear of the Negative Politics
Politics is imperative, and in fact, everything is political. Therefore, you can not expect your office to be entirely free of it. In addition, the choice to be apolitical is just an endorsement of the status quo. In this case, it is advisable not to loathe politics but participate in it. However, let me make it clear that you always need to stay clear of any kind of negative politics. Unfortunately, I may warn you that negative politics is quite common in offices.
Negative politics like gossiping or spreading rumours about your colleagues can damage relationships and, in turn, affect the work environment. Thus, try not to partake in any such activities that jeopardise your work relationships. Moreover, you can adopt certain effective but easy strategies:
- Think in the long-term, like how your steps will shape your career in the distant future.
- Choose your friends wisely. Make friends with like-minded colleagues who share your thoughts and values on office politics.
- Do not engage in conversations that involve any kind of gossiping or language that is disapproving.
Stay Grounded and Authentic
Always remember that you need to be emphatic and exert your kindness muscle. Four words should define you: Courtesy, respect, authenticity and politeness. If you try to inculcate these qualities, you will soon find that people are more attracted to you. Not just that, people who like to play it dirty will also understand that one can achieve their goal by keeping their values intact. There is a high possibility that your approach may encourage your colleagues to follow the same path as you.
In addition, your most valuable asset will always be authenticity. Constantly fulfil your commitment and be a woman/man of your words. In this way, you will be able to build trust with your seniors and colleagues. No one wants to be seen as someone who can not be trusted. Therefore, make your image as a person who leads people from the front.
Manage Conflicts Effectively
As mentioned above, it is natural that differences and conflicts can emerge between colleagues when you are working under the same roof. In fact, these conflicts may even arise in this pandemic-stricken world when remote working is more dominant. Therefore, if you have some differences with a colleague or a group, you should try to sort out these problems as soon as possible. Again, communication is the key to avoid or solve any such disruptions.
Your primary focus should be on collaborations, solutions and staying connected. Thus, conflicts should not be part of your office activity in any way possible. However, even if these situations arise, you must take a high road. Solve the issue, forgive them, forget about it and work to rebuild your relationship in a positive direction again.
In case you are mediating or caught between two conflicting groups, providing solutions to diffuse the tensions quickly is always recommended. But, it would be best if you also remembered that you need to be neutral and not take any side of either of the parties involved. By staying neutral, you can not only understand the perspective of both sides but also help in de-escalation of the situation by not adding fuel to a proverbial fire.
Change the Culture from Within
It would be best if you had a positive attitude towards corporate politics. In this manner, you can reframe it and mould it into a favourable structure. It would help if you contributed to building an environment and culture when corporate politics is played only to further its ambitions. Individuals should also work in the direction to fulfil their achievement but only through a fair and positive means. This would ensure that one employee does not discourage or demotivate other workers in any way possible.
However, you would be needed to contribute to achieving this sort of work culture. In many instances, you will also be required to present yourself as an example before others. The best way to do this is by being empathetic, praising others and encouraging team play in the organisation. This environment will benefit others and, in turn, you would also earn well-deserved respect from your colleagues.
Learn to Listen and Observe
You can not expect others to understand you if you do not put any effort to understand them. And, you can not understand your colleagues if you do not listen and observe them carefully. Moreover, it would be best for you to remember that developing a listening skill and suppressing the urge to be heard every time is the hardest thing to do. However, anyone who has mastered this skill is surely guaranteed to scale great heights in their career. This is because trying to reach a solution without developing understanding is near impossible.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, corporate politics is a reality that we all have to face. It is no point in avoiding it. Instead, you must participate in it. In addition, if you feel that the level of politics is relatively low in your office, you should try to present yourself as an example before your colleagues. Still, if you believe that the office environment in your organisation is more focused on playing politics rather than work, it would be best to move out and look for a job that adds value to your career.