Every workplace is evidently a political environment. However, operating in such an environment does not necessarily mean slinging dirt, lying, and sucking up. In its basic form, office politics are purely about getting a promotion, actualization of an idea, or acquiring the support required for one to make a change in an organization. Dealing with office politics entails earning respect, exchanging favors, defending your position, and maintaining one’s sanity in the middle of all the chaos that come with office politics.
In dealing with office politics, it is crucial that one is able to identify what you truly wish to achieve in your work, then aligning your political ambitions towards your career goals. In my place of work, I use the following ways in responding to office politics, improving my job performance, and coping with difficult coworkers. In responding to office politics, I embrace office politics instead of avoiding it. Office politics are merely about going the extra mile in assisting coworkers and helping them with what they need. It is highly probable that they will return the favor.
This strategy can help one achieve his/her career goals and improve one’s work environment faster that loyalty or hard work. The other way that I respond to office politics is by asking my colleagues for feedback in my work place. When I am concerned about my performance at work, I usually ask a trusted workmate for a genuine feedback. For example, I can ask my colleague to tell me how I could have conveyed my ideas effectively, or I can ask what a colleague thinks hindered or helped me from attaining my careers objective, in a meeting.
I am not easily swayed by annoyance or anger when I am dealing with conflict or negotiating with complicated coworkers. (Kienlen, 2008) I also prepare any requests that I might have in advance. When I am planning to request for time off, a raise, or job promotion, I always rehearse my request well in advance. I am always straightforward and direct when making my requests; I also accompany my request with justifiable reasons why I should be granted my request. I offer concrete information to support my request.
For instance, I can use my past job performance in requesting for a promotion. In responding to office politics, I do not take workplace problems, mistakes, or conflict personally. If I am asked to offer an explanation of a mistake whether perceived or real, I do not take personally. I do not allow criticisms or negativity to pull me down. The other approach that has enabled me to handle office politics well is that I have established strong professional relationship.
Successful politics begin with relationships; this entails getting the respect and support of coworkers in attempting to attain any goal. Coworkers have their own allegiances and relationships that they can use to work with an individual. In responding to office politics, I have been able to seek alliances with coworkers who are equal and below my position because they all have the power to support or thwart my goals. (McIntyre, 2005) The other crucial approach that I have used successfully in responding to office politics is that I know all the rules of office politics in my place of work.
I know the unspoken and spoken rules at my place of work, and this has enabled me to know which rules can be bent or broken. Reference: Kienlen, L. P. (2008). Dealing with office politics? 9 ways to make work better. Retrieved July 17, 2010, from http://theadventurouswriter. com/blog/quipstipsachievinggoals/career/dealing-with-office-politics-ways-to-make-work-better/ McIntyre, M. G. (2005). Secrets to winning at office politics; how to achieve your goals and increase your influence at work. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin