Office politics isn’t anything new and exists in most organisations at varying levels. The general perception of office politics is that it is bad or a somewhat dirty game but it doesn’t have to be. Office politics can actually be a clean game if you are able to play it right.
"Office politics" are the strategies that people employ to gain advantage personally, or for a cause they support. The term often has a negative connotation, in that it refers to strategies people use to seek advantage at the expense of others or the greater good. In this context, it often adversely affects the working environment and relationships within it. Good "office politics", on the other hand, help you fairly promote yourself and your cause, and is more often called networking and stakeholder management.
Perhaps due to the negative connotation, many people see office politics as something to be avoided. But the truth is, in order to ensure your own success and that of your projects, you must navigate the minefield of office politics. If you decide to be oblivious to the 'bad politics' taking place within your organisation and avoid dealing with them, you may needlessly suffer whilst others take unfair advantage. And if you avoid practising 'good politics', you miss the opportunities to properly further your own interests, and those of your team and your cause
Making Politics Work FOR You
To deal effectively with office politics and use it in a positive way, you must first accept the reality of it. Once you've done this, you then need to develop strategies to deal with the political behaviour that is going on around you. The best way to do this is to be a good observer and then use the information you gather to build yourself a strong network to operate in.
When you spend more time listening, you learn more and are less likely to say something that will come back to bite you later. Also, people like people who listen.
Make the Most of Your Network
As you build your relationships, you need to learn to use them to your advantage and promote yourself and your team positively. It is up to you to communicate your own and your team's abilities and successes to the right people, and you do this through positive political action.
Govern Your Own Behaviour
Through observation you'll learn what works in your organization's culture and what doesn't. Watch other people at work and identify successful behaviours that you can model. There are also some general standards to observe that will help put an end to bad office politics.
Here are some tips to ensure you do not carry last in this game:
Use your network to:
Gain access to information.
Build visibility of your achievements.
Improve difficult relationships.
Attract opportunities where you thrive.
Seek out ways to make yourself, your team and your boss look good.
Wish you all the best of Luck!
HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED OFFICE POLITICS? PLEASE SHARE YOUR OPINIONS?