7 Tips to Face Office Politics Positively - Deepstash
7 Tips to Face Office Politics Positively

7 Tips to Face Office Politics Positively

Curated from: mindtools.com

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Introduction

Introduction

Office politics are a reality that we all have to face, and avoiding them altogether risks not having a say in what happens. It also allows people with less experience, skill or knowledge than you to influence decisions that affect you and your team.

All workplaces are political to some extent, simply because people bring their personal emotions, needs, ambitions, and insecurities into their professional lives.

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Why There Is Office Politics

Why There Is Office Politics

We all want to be successful, but we may not always see eye to eye on what success means or how to achieve it. This can lead to office politics, which occur when our personalities and opinions clash and become challenging to handle.

We tend to be invested in the choices we make and those made about us, so we often try to influence them. We may do this directly or in sly ways.

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Handling The Office Politics

Handling The Office Politics

The foundation for making politics work for you in a positive way is to accept it as a reality. It may change over time, as people come and go in your organization, but, chances are, it will never disappear entirely.

Then, you need to develop strategies to recognize and understand political behavior and to build a strong and supportive network.

These seven tips can help you to do this:

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1. Analyze the Organization Chart

1. Analyze the Organization Chart

When navigating office politics, it's important to understand the informal power and influence within your organization. This may not always align with the formal hierarchy. Observe and identify key players by asking yourself questions like:

  • Who are the true influencers?
  • Who has authority but does not exert it?
  • Who is highly respected?
  • Who mentors or champions others?
  • Who drives the business behind the scenes?

Remember that there may be influential people without high job titles, but their opinions and actions carry weight. Take note of them in order to navigate office politics effectively.

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2. Understanding the Informal Network

2. Understanding the Informal Network

To effectively identify sources of power and influence, it's crucial to understand the informal or social networks at play. Observe how individuals interact and form relationships, noting any cliques or groups. Determine if influence is based on friendship, respect, or other factors.

  1. Things to look for:Who gets along and who struggles to interact?
  2. Are there any in-groups or out-groups?
  3. What are the different types of connections?
  4. How does influence flow between parties?
  5. Are there any interpersonal conflicts?

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3. Building Connections

3. Building Connections

Now that you understand how relationships work, you can build your own social network! Here are some tips:

  • Look beyond your immediate team
  • Cross the formal hierarchy in all directions
  • Be friendly with everyone, but don't align yourself too closely with one group
  • Get to know politically powerful people, but avoid empty flattery
  • Remember to base personal relationships on consent and to never break confidentiality

With these strategies, you can build high-quality connections that will benefit both you and your career!

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4. Develop Your "People Skills"

4. Develop Your "People Skills"

If you want to succeed in politics, strong Interpersonal Skills are essential. Reflect on how you handle your emotions and learn to control them. This will help you better understand others' emotions and cater to their preferences. Also, practice active listening to build better relationships.

  • Develop self-regulation to think before you act and understand others' emotions.
  • Prioritize active listening to slow down, focus, and learn from others.

Strong Interpersonal Skills will help you build and maintain your network in politics.

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5. Make the Most of Your Network

5. Make the Most of Your Network

Your connections can help you build your brand & raise your team's profile. Communicate your achievements & ask for feedback to show honesty & integrity, value their opinions.

  • Relationships can build personal brand & raise team profile
  • Share achievements with connections to open up opportunities
  • Connections can "shine" for you & act as "bridge" between teams
  • Be accountable for actions, show honesty & integrity
  • Ask for feedback from others to gain different perspectives
  • Important to know what's important to people in your network
  • Value their opinions & show appreciation for feedback

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6. Be Brave – but Not Naive

6. Be Brave – but Not Naive

Don't avoid those who engage in "bad" politics - get to know them instead. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer," is true in the workplace.

Be courteous but cautious when talking to gossips and manipulators, as they may twist your words. Understanding their motives can help you avoid or counter their negative influence . Remember, some people act badly because they feel insecure - it's a form of self-sabotage.

However, be careful around individuals who exhibit Machiavellianism traits . These people tend to be clever and dangerous, so protect yourself as much as possible.

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7. Neutralize Negative Politics

7. Neutralize Negative Politics

You can help to make a workplace become more positive by not "fuelling the fire" and joining in negative politics.

Assume everything you say will be repeated, so be careful about sharing "secrets." Stay professional and remain neutral in conflicts.

  • Don't fuel negative politics
  • Avoid spreading rumors
  • Choose carefully what you reveal
  • Stay professional
  • Remain neutral and avoid arguments
  • Remember win-win solutions are possible

When offering criticism, be confident and assertive without being aggressive. Consider the organization's perspective rather than just your own.

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Key Points

Key Points

"Good" politics can help you to get what you want without harming others in the process. To harness its power:

  1. Analyze the organization chart.
  2. Understand the informal network.
  3. Build relationships.
  4. Make the most of your network.
  5. Develop your "people skills."
  6. Be brave – but not naive.
  7. Neutralize negative politics.

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IDEAS CURATED BY

benzherlambang

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CURATOR'S NOTE

Office politics are a reality that we all have to face, and avoiding them altogether risks not having a say in what happens. It also allows people with less experience, skill or knowledge than you to influence decisions that affect you and your team. Here are some tips to face it positively.

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