Office politics is something that is invisible yet present like the air. It is omnipresent. You cannot control what is thrown at you, but you can manoeuvre your reaction to a situation such that you are not lost in the tangle. If you follow some basic etiquettes, it is sufficient to keep your head out of the water and breathe through all the quandaries at the office. Here are the techniques:
Don't act over smart
You might possess a set of skills and then there would be a set of skills that you might like to possess. Without knowing something fully, don't project to be a master of that art. Why? Because in that case, you will lose the opportunity to learn and be made to do it the hard way.
So here is a situation. Say, you had mentioned in your resume that you are an expert in MS Excel. You might've thought that you could eventually learn it on the go. A senior of yours allots you a job that has to be done in Excel the very first day but you are blank. In this situation, you could neither reach out for help nor do your job. This could result in people talking ill of you and mistreating you for dishonesty. Instead, if you had been open from the beginning about your apt qualification and flexibility to learn things as and when required, your place would be complacent enough for you to work efficiently.
Listen before speaking
Always be ready to listen to others' point of view. You know that you have very valuable things to tell. But hold on for some more time until the other people finish their say so that you will be come across as a sensible person. On the contrary, if you give your opinions first, you will make way for other people to judge you and change their stand on issues accordingly. This will make you lose out on situational awareness and could also make others isolate you for blurting.
Think before speaking
Not everyone is best in communication. There will be some lot who are weak in the official language. This might make you a weak person when it comes to putting across your ideas. In this situation, it is always better to rehearse the sentence in your mind and then make it heard. Why? Because you don't want to be misinterpreted as a jerk and be judged for speaking wrong things when what you are actually doing is speaking things wrongly and miscommunicating.
Treat problems with maturity
When two people in your team fight, do not barge into their issue unless they invite you to moderate. If you are invited, try to be polite to both the parties and solve the issue amicably. Say, A and B are in an argument where A is wrong. Now, instead of making A pay for her mistake by humiliating her, encourage B to forgive A and take it sportively. Similarly, make B apologise and shake hands with A. If this is too much for you to handle, take the help of the HR or your senior by putting the issue in a matured point of view rather than as a complaint. Let them know how they could help both A and B in acquiring their requirement and help them solve it without stringent action.
If someone points out a mistake at you, apparently it is going to offend and portray you as an accused. But hold on there. You could choose either of the two ways to react to this. You could get defensive and point ten other things at the person alleging, or you could say with confidence that you agree that you are at fault and that you are willing to correct it. When you choose to do the latter you need not be embarrassed and at the same time show the blamers that you could take their feedback to your stride, correct it and be undeterred by it. Instead, when you choose the former way, it might give you the satisfaction of having hurt the person who hurt you, but the cycle will keep continuing with vengeance weeding to be a disaster in the end. Never make enemies with your colleagues for this reason.
Separate personal from official
There might be some good friends of yours at office, and then some acquaintances. Do not be too gullible to discuss your personal matters with everyone. Not all your acquaintances are your friends. Don't give them a chance to speak ill of you with what you do in your personal life. When it comes to office shut out your private life at home and come here with a mindset on how to make your day productive. Of course, you cant keep focussing on work all the time. Alternatively, read newspapers when you are free so that you would have sufficient world issues to chew in leisure discussions with colleagues rather than paving way for them to judge you.
Also Read: How to Overcome Sleep at Workplace?
Gossiping is like the Chinese whisper. It is so much fun for the people who talk but a punishment for those who are the subject of the talk. None of us could avoid talking about others but we could control or limit the audience with whom we gossip. You could discuss about office politics or gossips about people to other people who are 0% related to it, meaning people at home or friends. This is just if it is about a person.
You could narrate their bizzare activities without even mentioning their names to your family so that you get a vent and at the same time the person whom you gossip about also doesn't have his reputation blemished. Bonus, it would not spread like the Chinese whisper at office and be miscommunicated causing you any problems.
When it is about your own company, restrict bad mouthing about them and try to deal your grievances directly so that it would be solved than aggravated. Most of them don't have guts to put across your needs to the company right away and yet bad mouth around. This could earn you bad points with other recruiters.