How to compete at Office Politics?

By Shubhda in Health & Nutrition 03/03/2016

Office politics can be quite treacherous, draining your mental energy and nabbing you into cocoons of negativity, which can definitely jeopardize your performance. Though, office politics is all about the difference in opinions, which is quite naturally human. The goal therefore is not to let it suck you in, evading the happiness of your pursuits, making you feel monotonous and undeserving. So, here are few ways in which you can handle office politics and compete, confidently.

 

You always have a choice

You need to work out your personality and knee jerk reactions by understanding that every situation is not just about fight or flight. To start with, you should not be instinctive and immediate regarding how you portray yourself in the office. If you are too instinctive and loud, you would be called as ‘someone who is throwing his/her weight around’ and if you are silent, you would be easily taken for granted. No matter, how difficult the situation is, you should never lose your cool and understand that you always have a choice and your word will be heard. So, use them wisely. Never go to your higher authorities and crib and complain regarding your colleagues as it would paint you in a negative picture. Never start your sentence with a ‘no’ when someone, no matter how much you despise him/her is coming up with solutions or suggestions.

 

You need to be sensitive enough to understand that people are not always bad, they too have their own internal struggles to deal with and that’s what comes out poorly in most of the circumstances. More than anything, you should stop taking things personally, as it is not the case in most circumstances. Maintaining your gravity is in your hands and if you work really hard, people will notice and admire you for it. It’s just that in most offices, the ambience is so competitive that you would not get a pat on your shoulder for good work regularly but then, there would be days when your manager would give you a high appraisal, because mind you, he has been watching.

 

Know what you are trying to achieve

Most of us get so intimidated or harrowed by office politics that we lose our prime focus, which is good work. Always remember, colleagues will come and go but the honesty and integrity of your work is something no one can snatch away. So, no matter how bad the day goes, stick to your goals, make sure you are achieving your targets, and be enthusiastic to new possibilities and creating something original. There is no need to share your woes with others, as it would just sooner or later become gossip. What is more important is that you give high priority to your daily schedule and make a note of your own performance than playing the blame game or criticizing others. Make sure that you do not give your opinions or land into discussions when your presence is not necessary. Stay quiet and focus. That’s your key mantra. Talking unnecessarily and giving illogical inputs would also be detrimental to your image, hence do not indulge into it.

 

Focus on your circle of influence

We all know that we cannot make everyone happy, all the time. You will have colleagues who will try to dominate and demoralize you, at every office. But that should not stop you from creating your own circle of influence. These should be people who are at your wavelength and give priority to work, just as you do. Do not discuss your personal life with them, but rather new ideas and innovations so that they always look up to you. Be kind to someone who showers you a compliment and always respect the silence. You need to be positive and understanding, able to walk in the other’s shoes. Don’t crib unnecessarily but rather, try to win people with your pleasant smile and healthy body language. Maintain a safe distance from everyone so that people are not easily able to make opinions about you, make them wonder. Meanwhile, you continue pursuing your work with whole dedication.

 

Don’t take sides

In most of the conditions, you would find yourself at loggerheads when two powerful seniors are against each other, complaining about each other and just wasting your time. Here, you need to understand that you are being seen just as a small pawn, so understand your limits. Do not take sides, because you never know when the tide will tilt and you might have to work with someone whom you have always been against. It’s not about not being honest; it is rather about being able to be diplomatic which is an art. Never, share what others say behind each other’s back to others, because it will always put you at the wrong foot. Rather, stay silent and no information should pass on from you. Yes, you can empathize when a senior cribs, but you never have to state your opinions in a forceful manner, rather just listen, that too is an art which most of us do not have.

 

Don’t get personal

There will be times that you would be so angry that you would want to seriously give a piece of you mind to the other person, scold him and shout. But try pursuing the art of ignoring it. Sometimes, the battles that we select are also very important because people always remember the times they were humiliated or insulted. Later, if you would want to apply a soothing balm, it would become very difficult. Peace of mind is more important. Just let your anger fade, it will not bother you so much. If you get into honest displays of your anger, the seniors would think you are throwing tantrums, which definitely is not the case. But understand that in office, it is very difficult to find people who see you exactly as you are, so be practical.

 

In the end, office politics is all about how you manage your focus and energy levels rather than getting furious with what goes around, politically in the office. It is none of your business and you should always remember that. Maintain your cool in the worst of circumstances and just work hard.

 
 

Shubhda
Shubhda Chaudhary is a Research Scholar, Featured Writer and a Budding Entrepreneur. She loves researching on Middle Eastern Politics, Role of Foreign Journalists and Arab Media. In addition, she is contributing to the research on an upcoming book on Farmer Suicides in Vidarbha.

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