Office politics can be good or bad. Good office politics is all about fostering good working relationships, advancing your career and enhancing the productivity and performance of the company. Unfortunately, mostly when office politics is being referred to, it’s about the negative aspects. Bad office politics is one of the devils of the working world, with some places suffering from and by it more than others. When it gets particularly bad it can have a detrimental and damaging effect on productivity and performance of the company and the health, attitude and well-being of the staff. If the politics at your workplace is getting you down or causing problems there are ways you can be to keep its effects to a minimum.
Stay respectful to your colleagues. Treat them in such a way that you would like them to treat you. Be polite and professional, never getting personal. This sets an example but also puts in place a benchmark for others to how they treat you in return. Expect and asked to be treated in a respectful way and if you are doing the same to others you won’t be regarded as having double standards and will garner the respect you deserve.
To be avoided at all costs. Nothing good comes from it and if something needs to be said it should be addressed with the persons it concerns. If it’s not something that feels comfortable being said to someone upfront then it shouldn’t be said behind their back. Avoid preaching to others about the negatives of gossip. No one likes being told that the gossiping they are doing is wrong, and by doing so you will be unlikely to gain any respect. If you get caught up in gossip try gently and subtly changing the subject to something more positive or find a reason to leave the conversation.
Be a popular colleague and without being a walk-over help your fellow workers. It’s always appreciated when genuine help is offered and it fosters good working relationships. Your helpful nature will be valued and lessen the chances of you being the victim of negative office politics from others. This isn’t about selling yourself short, it’s more about being a staff member that we should all aspire to be and by which the working environment would be a much more positive place as a result.
If you have a problem, try to address it directly. This isn’t about being confrontational but rather addressing the issue rather than gossiping about or discussing it with others not involved. Try to avoid using blame but rather highlight your concerns with suggestions on alternatives or ways of resolving the issue. Gossiping about something you are unhappy with will not solve the problem but will add to bad office politics, whereas addressing the problem with the right person and with the intention of sorting it out may possibly achieve the aim. Also, its much more likely that you will be respected for taking positive action rather than adding to the negativity of the workplace by just moaning about it to other colleagues.
If the office politics where you work is really bad, maybe it’s time to consider the short, medium and long term effects it can have on your career, happiness, well-being and health. It might be that changing jobs is the wiser move to make?
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach, Mentor & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.