An office is a place where you go to earn your bread and butter. You toil your way through the day so that at the end of the month you are able to go home with a handsome package. You do not really have to waste a good portion of your productive energy trying to carve your way through office politics.
If you are really good at what you do, you are bound to excel your way through the corporate ladder and you do not have to bank on cheap office politics for the same. If you are not able to do justice to your job, simply relying on office politics will get you nowhere.
Now having established that office politics is not what you need for your personal growth, the next major question that arises is how to keep yourself away from it. While it is not easy to be the lone one and distance yourself from things like this, the fact remains that it is not entirely impossible. This article talks about ways and means by which you can avoid office politics as an employee.
• Analyse The Organisation's Chart
There are some people who think that they have more power than they actually do. Hence, when you are new to an organisation, it is important that you do not go by a person's designation or job title. Rather try to sit back and observe the political power hierarchy. Do not fall prey to office politics wherein a person or group projects someone as important and you take their word for the same.
• Build Connections
In an office there is a formal hierarchy. Try to look beyond that. Try to be in good terms with as many people as possible. When you know that a person is important or politically powerful, you do not have to distance yourself from them. Rather, treat the person just like anybody else.
Doing this will get you some high quality connections and that can take you places. However, be genuine and natural and under no circumstance should you resort to empty flattery to be in the good books of politically important people.
• Do Not Get Too Close With One Group
While it is important to be in good terms with as many people as you possibly can, it is equally important that you do not end up getting too close with a particular group. This may put you in unnecessary situations of conflict.
Try to avoid building of personal relationships at work. In case you have to do it, make sure that the same is based on principles of mutual consent and trust.
• Avoid Passing On Rumours
When you pass on a piece of information, make sure that you are positive about its source and credibility. Think about the impact of every word you speak. It will be foolish on your part to assume confidentiality. For safety, it is best to assume that whatever secret you let out will be spread.
Hence, it is very important that you take ownership for every word you speak. This will not just help in preventing the spreading of office rumours, but will also help make the place get rid of unnecessary office politics.
• Do Not Take Sides
If a number of people work in an office, it is obvious that once in a while they will be in conflict with each other. If such a thing happens (and especially if the same does not involve you) make sure that you do not get sucked into the recriminations. It is important for you to understand that if a conflict does arise, there does not need to be a winner and a loser.
Your job must be to identify the middle ground and arrive at a solution that will satisfy everyone. By not taking sides, you will ensure that you are not sucked into arguments and thereby, keep your distance from office politics.
• Know The Culprits
In any office there is a small section of people who are the actual harbingers of all the negativity. Your first step towards keeping yourself away from office politics would be to identify this group. Once that is done, do not distance yourself away from this group directly. Rather try to understand their goals.
This will help you counter the impact of their negative politicking and keep yourself safe. By being in good terms with them, despite knowing their actual motive, you are actually making it way harder for those people to work their magic on you.
• Be Accountable
Since you are spending a major chunk of your waking hours in the office, it is obvious that at one point or the other you will make some mistakes. This will be in regard of your work as well as that of the interpersonal relationships that you make in the office premises.
When such a thing does happen, own up to your mistakes. By being accountable for your actions you not just display your honesty and integrity but also ensure that a new office politics subject does not come up that revolves around you.
• Make Sure That You Are Not Narcissistic
While keeping away from office politics, we are not asking you to lose your voice and become a puppet in someone else's hands. You are most welcome to have your opinion about things. While expressing those, it is totally okay to be confident and assertive. However, take special efforts to ensure that you are not aggressive and narcissistic.
Remember that whenever you speak in the office, you do not do that for yourself. You speak for the organisation as well and your words and actions must justify the same. By not being narcissistic and selfish you are distancing yourself from office politics as well.