How to Master Workplace Politics?

Darryl Bachmeier
Jul 17, 2019

Whenever you think about office politics, controversies, arguments, backstabbing, and leg-pulling come into your mind. It seems like a dirty business where everyone has their hands in whether they like it or not.

No matter what you think about it, office politics can’t be avoided. It greatly influences how the organization runs, how the teams correspond with each other, and most importantly how you survive your career as an employee in such an environment.

Since you’re already a part of office politics so why not indulge yourself in ‘good’ politics that promotes you and your team’s interests in the company’s projects without compromising on your values or principles.

How to identify Good Politics from Bad Politics?

Bad politics is what everyone talks about - rumors, backstabbing, maneuvering, and conspiracy. It’s when people make ways to progress in the organization at any cost, let it be suppressing others or devaluing their efforts in the projects.

Whereas, good politics involves advancing your career in the organization without conflicting the legitimate interests of the organization or neglecting the rights of other people working there. It means getting recognized for your contribution and your team’s efforts in acceptable ways.

Good politics may also involve gossips and talking about someone not putting effort into the interests of the organization, but it’s acceptable as long as it serves the greater good for the organization. To be a part of good politics, you need to be smart and savvy, capable of networking and socializing and be someone with leadership and management skills.

How to Master Good Politics?

Don’t think that you can ignore politics at work. In fact, your success at your workplace depends on how skillfully you play at it. If you want to win at office politics while maintaining your integrity, you can do so by following the strategies below:

Be nice and supportive to all

To ace office politics, you need to be the one who is supportive and nice to both his peers and colleagues. Appreciate them for their well-deserved efforts and guide them when they ask for it.

Be polite and respectful to all. Avoid being sarcastic and making people feel down. You can’t take the risk of mistreating people or misbehaving at work and fall prey to their bad politics.

Be the team player

Rather than undermining others’ achievements, be the one who helps the team to perform well and achieve its goals. Be the change you desire to see in your team members. Be loyal to them and win their support when you need it.

Be a problem solver

You know that people at the organization are being lazy or they are not utilizing their full potential to accomplish the company’s targets. But it’s of no use to whining and complaining all the time. Rather you can be the problem solver and develop a reputation among your peers.

Don’t make your contribution go unnoticed

To advance your career, you must perceive yourself as a great contributor in eyes of others. People often lose their jobs in downsizing, when their management is unaware of their contribution to the organization’s interests. So, do your good work and make sure others give you the credit you deserve.

Build positive relationships with your boss and management

Your boss and management are authorized to shape your career. They have the power and influence over your career. They are the ones who are going to approve your promotion. So, be the one who not only works for the benefit of the organization but also let them be successful.

This might be surprising for you because most of the time bosses are the ones who keep suppressing others. But you can’t just declare an open war against them. Otherwise, you’ll startle your career.

Instead, you can nurture your relationship with your boss and get his support to advance in your career. Even if you disagree with your boss, do it privately.

Be competent and do your best

Your ultimate goal is to make your organization achieve its targets and interests. So, put your best effort into the tasks assigned to you. Develop your skills and be competent. Don’t give others a chance to point fingers at your work. Show up in time and make others perceive you as a hardworking employee.

Final thoughts

Sometimes, office politics might be stressful or challenging for you. But your right strategy can make you the player. Be a political savvy who neither loses his harmony or integrity at the workplace nor let others feel down to make himself successful. People will believe in you when you will support them to do well at the workplace. Once you play the politics game safe, you’ll not only understand it but also pivot ways to career survival and making yourself a major player at your workplace.

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