Office Politics: Play Safe and Win!

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Vajiha Idrees

Latest posts by Vajiha Idrees (see all)

office-politic-1Robert Louis Stevenson wrote that, “Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.”

Office politics refer to strategies for personal gain in an organization. It is the dynamics and struggle for power. It is a pervasive thing at the workplace. It is impossible that someone is not be harmed by office politics. But some people take it as a competitive game; they are of the opinion that playing this game may be crucial to their success. It improvises the perception of how power and influence are managed in the organization. Many people see office politics as something that need to be avoided because of its negative connotation; but there is no need to be afraid. It is better to play it safe, in order to fairly promote yourself. Following are five handy tips for winning at office politics:

  1.     Brand yourself
    Not everyone knows who you are, and how good you do it. By branding yourself, you’ll give yourself recognition and have control over people’s initial perception. Update your skills that are crucial to your company’s success. Communicate persuasively and let others know how you accomplish, whenever you get the opportunity to win. Don’t complain or take sides. Have a balanced approach with all the group of employees. “Weave your accomplishments into brief narratives that communicate passion, energy and delight,” says Peggy Klaus, the author of “Brag! – The Art of Tooting Your Horn without Blowing It.”
  2.     Be a good observer
    Stay vigilant about how things get done in your organization. This is a very empowering technique to handle office politics. Keep an eye on what’s happening around you. Analyze the political landscape in your company. Some companies promote unethical behaviour. Though,office gossip is a bad thing, it is, however, the best source of getting latest happening secrets at your workplace. Do keep in mind that your main motive should be to keep yourself updated, without spreading it.
  3.     Develop a healthy relationship with key personnel
    Maintaining a healthy relationship with the top level management is the most effective way to handleoffice politics. If you know your boss and colleagues, you’ll be able to foresee their point of view. You will easily judge their competing interest. You need to satisfy the people, who matter the most.
  4.     Portray a professional attitude
    Your attitude always makes a difference. Develop an assertive style and portray a professional attitude at your workplace. Having a positive attitude has a great impact on the office atmosphere. In order to look professional, dress correctly according to your job, as it will have far-reaching effects. Be courteous and humble to your subordinates. Make it a habit to reach on time, whether it is a meeting or a business lunch. Combine these elements, and you will soon notice that people are working better with you.
  5.     Think win-win
    Since school days, we have been taught that in order for someone to win, someone has to lose. Win-win situation is completely different. When both the employees seek mutual benefits in their interaction, a ‘win-win’ situation develops. The main elements of win-win situation are compromise and cooperation; and it is only possible when you give up ego and superiority. Interact collaboratively. Appreciate and give feedback. Be humble and knowledgeable in solving problems, without considering personal gain.

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