Manger or an employee, you will face countless obstacles in your workplace. In order to prove your mettle, you will need to make a compelling impression. All this requires people skills and the ability to navigate through the stormy waters of office politics.
The word ‘office politics’ connotes backstabbing, power play, and destructive behavior—but that’s not the case. A productive office culture can shape a conducive politic organizational structure that harnesses results.
You can use this in a positive way, but first you need to determine the nature of politics within your organization.
You spend 8-9 hours of your day at work, which means you are emotionally and physically vested in the official activities.
Workplace is full of diverse personalities that clash when met with a disagreement. Everyone wants the decision to be in their favor, and to achieve this, people influence others. This influence can come in a candid manner or can simply be use of a powerful position.
The way people react to these situations makes the political structure of your organization.
Survival is the key. Office politics is unavoidable; it’s better to become part of the system and make things work for you.
Analyze the key players in your organization, determine who has the power to make or approve plans. Map out the span of control, major influencer, mentors, star performers, champions, and highly experienced employees.
These are people you need to interact and look up to. They have gained popularity in the organization; they might be doing something right. Remember to focus on good practices of these individual.
Just like high school there are groups and cliques in workplace environment. In order to interact strategically, you need to know the in-groups. With your earlier research, you will have the names of the organization’s influence. Map them in the groups in a discrete manner. Figure out the flow of influence and power between these groups; see if the ties are based on friendship, power, romance, or respect.
Be friendly with everyone, but choose to develop high quality connections. Be diplomatic and avoid associating yourself to a single group. Get to know everyone and don’t hesitate to make connections with the higher management.
Interpersonal skills play an important role in politics. Be an effective listener and vigilant of the emotional and physical cues to react to different situations. Lastly, build your emotional intelligence; keep yourself connected, yet distant, from the emotional repercussion of office politics.
Create a brand for yourself based on goodwill and talent and avoid being exploited by workplace negativity. One way to do this is by being particular about the rumors you hear. Avoid spreading non-credible rumors; chances are, they will be reproduced in front of someone else.
Always be professional in all your business relationship and avoid getting emotions in the way. Share your opinions and concerns in a confident manner, without being aggressive. Keep in mind, neutralizing your tone and body language will save you from several workplace conflicts.
We – at DFRIHR – provide comprehensive guidelines for conflict resolution in the workplace and HR advisory services.
Call 1-877-803-3486 to steer clear from a political fiasco at your office. All our policies are developed to promote strategic employee relations. We work with managers to tailor industry and business specific policies.