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5 Effective Ways to Deal with Office Politics

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office politics

Office differences can be oh so difficult to avoid, especially seeing as you spend most of your life with the people you work with. The workplace is a modern day jungle and to survive you need to know how to stand up and deal with crucial situation or know when to lie low and say nothing. When conflicts do happen, it’s very easy to be sucked in.  Meaning, you’ll run the risk of inviting more resistance from those around you.

The key is learning to steer these awkward situations in a direction that suits you, meaning you can disengage from those petty differences and position yourself as someone who is only interested in doing their best and getting things done. Before the whispering and the finger pointing begins, here are 5 things that you need to remember when it comes to office politics.

1. Worry about Your Own Job

Focus on your career, not that of others. In almost every environment the most unsuccessful employees are the ones who are more worried about how others go about their business.

Learn to appreciate and acknowledge other’s success, but don’t become envious or jealous of it. Be generous to your fellow workers and soon enough people will notice and your efforts will be recognised.

The genuine support of colleagues can really change the nature of work relationships for the better and it also shows you are above any petty squabbles.

2. Learn to Deal with Disappointment

In business, as in life, things are not always fair. People’s reactions to difficult scenarios like missing out on a promotion, so dealing with confrontation or personality clashes will say a lot about their character.

Demonstrating a little calm and objectivity shows you have the maturity for greater success going forward.

3. Ignore Others and Don’t Gang-up

Your perception of how you view yourself is often shaped by how others see you and in almost every work environment, whether it’s a result of a poor culture, or simply jumping on the bandwagon – employees tend to gang-up.

To be the most successful employee it pays to build relationships with many and different individuals and various groups.

So if you can do this without being pressured into joining a destructive pack, you will be viewed by the management as a collaborative individual – rather than a just a sheep that follows the pack.

4. Know Your Role and Play it Well

Don’t let office politics distract you from your ultimate goals. This means taking every opportunity to build and maintain relationships without becoming bogged-down in petty arguments.

Exposing yourself to environments both inside and outside the workplace can always be beneficial, as this will provide you with experience of working alongside people who face issues and challenges that you aren’t necessarily used to.

Also, make it your business to position yourself as the person who will step in when disagreements do arise. This will enable you to provide a positive perspective when others are no longer capable of doing so.

By focusing on these goals, your context and judgement will continue to improve, and you will further insulate yourself from the destructive nature of office politics.

5. Get to Know Your Colleagues

Maintaining a position of influence can see you rise above any needless office bickering, but in order to do this, you must build authentic relationships in your work environment.

This means being genuinely curious about the people you work with and finding out just what makes them tick. This could be their expectations, ambitions and what drives them on. As well as training seminars and out of work interests they partake in when you are not around.

Getting to know people you spend most of your working week with will often make you stand out as a trustworthy individual, as well as allowing you to detect any disingenuous political agendas that might exist amongst others.

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Written by journalist, blogger and writer Matthew Crist on behalf of Oxford Management . Matthew has used his experience when working for the likes of the BBC, Time Out and FHM to ensure he steers well clear of any office politics or awkward workplace situations.

          
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