How to beat work politics and concentrate on priorities
We are all familiar with politics at work and let’s be frank—it exists everywhere. The politics can sometimes get really nasty with people losing their clients or contracts unfairly because of it. It is important to protect yourself from work politics as it is to stay away from it and not indulge in it yourself. Don’t try a shorter route of success—remember your reputation precedes you everywhere. At the same time, don’t fall prey to somebody’s schemes against you. A person who steers clear of office politics earns the trust and goodwill of all the stakeholders—especially colleagues and clients. Here are some ways to stay away from office politics:-
- 1. Keep all official matters documented- This is the most transparent way of working, involving all the concerned people. This leaves no scope for anyone to ever deny any of the documented discussions and compels people to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
- 2. While it is important to build a rapport with people, keeping it strictly professional works to everyone’s advantage. The moment you get too friendly and/or personal with someone and share any subjective opinion on any matter (however innocuous it may seem) you are inviting danger for yourself and others. Stay away from any personal discussions.
- 3. Have a social life outside work so that you don’t have to depend on your colleagues to have a good social life. When work life and social life get intertwined, the chances of a fair and objective mechanism of work get diminished and the scope for politics increases manifold.
- 4. Leave any place where people huddle and gossip. Turn a deaf ear. Better, excuse yourself from the gathering. Do not let anyone mould your opinion about anybody else. You are able enough to judge for yourself whom to befriend and whom to be wary of. As a rule, beware of gossip mongers always!
- 5. If you try to pave your way up the ladder through means other than work, then you are undermining your own abilities and disrespecting your own intelligence. Can you live with such low self-esteem?
- 6. If someone comes to you for advice on anyone else, be objective and neutral. Reserve your opinions for the ears of your intimate friends and family outside of work. For those at work, be generic. Vent out your frustration related to any colleague to your friends and family. They will listen to you and guide you without any vested interest and with your best interests in their hearts. Never indulge any colleague in the same. You will unnecessarily burden him with unwanted information or cause danger for yourself.
- 7. What anybody else is doing is none of your business even if they are ignoring you or choosing to not speak to you. If it bothers you, speak to them directly and get a clarification, but be ready to be disappointed with a fake answer. Do you really expect someone to tell you that he is jealous of your success or she wanted the promotion in your place? So, let people be how they want to be and you keep your focus only on your work.
If you want a fair workplace, make sure you provide a fair workplace to someone else too.