‘Every person is a politician.’ We don’t know who said that but we do not disagree. Politics is the manipulative face of the human mind and no organisation is completely free from human tendencies to manipulate circumstances, situations, power and people to secure their positions, gain from it, let others down in the process or even increase their power, image and status within the organisation. The Office is one place where people spend most part of their day together and, there is without doubt, an incessant underlying struggle for power, recognition and authority.
Workplace politics can involve an individual or a group. However, office politics can often go against the interests of an organisation as a whole. Hence, beware! Employees who engage themselves in office politics tend to spend considerable amount of time thinking about strategic moves rather than the job at hand. Ultimately this can either lead to a loss of business for the organisation or before you realize it, even result in loosing good talent.
One cannot do away with office politics easily. It is like a vicious cycle and even though you might not want to participate in it, circumstances and consequences might just pull one into it. What we sometimes fail to see is that organisations have to bear the brunt of continuous politics at workplace especially when it gradually starts affecting the overall performance, efficiency and productivity of the organisation.
(At the risk of sounding ‘preachy’) Organisations and employees can, however, follow certain guidelines for themselves and their workplace and help make it better.
Avoid distorting or manipulating truths and facts. It is neither ethical nor professional.
Be who you are. Do not try to put on different personalities to suit different people or situations.
Be fair to your work and duties. Take decisions based on people’s performances and not on the basis of your relation with them.
Ensure timely and free conversation or communication. Hiding information, encouraging the spread of rumors and distorting information only aggravates circumstances and makes situations worse. Provide everyone with a fair chance to put their thoughts forward. Proper communication also helps fight the onslaught of slanderous gossips.
You know the best part? As someone in a leadership position, you can actually control the grapevine by keeping communication frequent and clear.
You are not the victim. Focus on what you can do and figure out who can actually help you. Look at the resources you have and the opportunities ahead. Transform all the negative energy and invest it in positive and productive goals. You may disagree on certain office strategies but make sure that you do not come in the way of anything productive and good.
Sure, there are factors that you might say are not in your control. To that, we sign-off sharing this quote: “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” ― Wayne W. Dyer