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10 Effective Ways To Navigate Work Politics

Workplace Drama

When workplace drama affects you, it can become an insidious cloud that permeates your day-to-day.

Be mindful and ask yourself, "What is actually going on here?" Focus on the facts and avoid what you think happened. Know that you can't control how you feel, only how you react.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

10 Effective Ways To Navigate Work Politics

10 Effective Ways To Navigate Work Politics

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/02/07/10-effective-ways-to-navigate-work-politics/

forbes.com

10

Key Ideas

Count Your Elephants

Make a list of all of the awkward, uncomfortable realities that haven't been discussed out in the open. 

Set aside time to consciously think through, what's actually bothering you right now and write down these elephants to enable you to resolve these issues.

Identify Your Role In The Problem

Be honest with yourself: Are you contributing to the situation negatively or doing anything to help?

Write down the ways in which you've contributed, and identify how you can personally take responsibility. 

Find The Key Player(s)

Go through all the players and imagine each person individually disappearing from the organization. Does the problem go away? If it does, then this person is the key. 

If this person's performance is the issue, that's the elephant in the room that you need to address tactfully. For any other issue, your best weapon is to find empathy for this person.

The Ally Echo-Chamber

You know your allies, as you've likely been venting to them. But they are red herrings that may be making things worse.

  • Venting to them reduces the symptoms without addressing the core problem.
  • By venting to them, they can allow a distorted truth when they allow you to focus on your version only instead of the full facts.

Don't give in to this distraction.

Identify Your Opponents

Empathy diffuses drama. Seek to understand their emotions and what they're trying to accomplish. 

Even if your opinion is unchanged, a true connection is your greatest asset to influence someone for the better.

Order Conversations

... from most difficult to the least. If a conversation feels like it will be difficult, it means it's the most important one to stop avoiding.

Seek empathy and use as much tact as you can muster. You'll find that even if you disagree, you'll have a useful, productive conversation.

Intentionally Make Yourself Vulnerable

When starting a difficult conversation, lead with what you could have done better in the situation and consider sharing your personal emotions and challenges in a tactful, authentic way. 

This is a huge opportunity to create trust. It's also where most people fail, as it requires being incredibly vulnerable.

Tactfully Reveal The Elephants

Tell the story of what you think happened, doing your best to reveal the humanity and emotions of every individual that took part.

Focus on the challenges you have been encountering and use neutral language to share your perspective. Your words will only be heard if you are incredibly tactful.

Quickly Address Minor Triggers

The best way to prevent drama and politics from even occurring is to share quickly and tactfully when small issues come up.

If you come from a place of honesty, identifying where you've been inauthentic or not holding up your end of the bargain, you'll maintain an open dialog. 

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Pointless Criticism

In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

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Blaming

When you blame someone, you take any responsibility off of yourself and put it on them. 

It’s understandable that you want to express your dissatisfaction with something. But sometimes you need to express it in order to find a solution, not to point singers.

Ineffective Complaining

Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person. 

Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining. 

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Helping a loved one
Helping a loved one

Many people try to help a loved one make significant life changes but fail. They may try to help a spouse quit smoking or get a roommate out of an abusive relationship. They may feel that if they d...

Different forms of enabling behavior

Enabling may accidentally happen when you are trying to help, but after an extended period, you realise that you are really helping.

  • Cleaning up after someone is one form of enabling behavior and includes any way of protecting the person from the negative consequences of their own behavior.
  • A partner lies to his in-laws about his wife's drug problem to protect her from embarrassment.
  • A sibling pays his brother's rent because he regularly loses his money to gambling.

It might be okay if it happened once, but if these "rescues" happen repeatedly, they don't get to learn from the cause-and-effect pattern of their behaviors.

Giving someone non-specific help
  • Our loved ones often come to us in a moment of crisis. They're losing their job or need to pay someone back. We sometimes feel we have to give money or bail them out in some form. But after a time or two, you become the consistent rescuer while they continue in their unaccountable ways.
  • Boundaries can be used to stop the cycle, but not letting those boundaries slip is hard. If you put your foot down on not loaning money, don't give in. The person you're trying to help will ultimately feel more secure if they know you keep your word. You're also a good role model for consistent behavior.

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Feelings are preceded by emotions and tend to be our reactions to them. Emotions are a more generalized experience across humans, but feelings are more subjective and influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations, thus they are harder to measure.

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Although some are labeled negative, all emotions are normal to the human experience. And it’s important to understand when and why negative emotions might arise, and develop positive behaviors to address them.

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