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How To Survive Office Politics


More often than not, the office is a place where you have to deal with people - people who want to rise up the ladder even if it means doing it at someone else's expense.

With all the gossip, rumors and mind games, it doesn’t really take too much for the work environment to turn a little, well, political. So, you don’t really have to be the Oracle to know that to survive in the professional environment, you have to survive the office politics.

But that doesn’t mean getting down in the muck and going on a mud-slinging rampage. You can actually stay away from the petty part of it and still come out unscathed. Here’s how you can go about it.


Don’t be the outsider

There probably has been a time when you must have felt fed up with the office politics and said, “I’ll just stay away from it all and do my job”. Though it may seem like an easy solution, isolation is never a good idea in the office environment. Instead, by being alone, you will be setting yourself up to be the one talked about and blamed for trivial things.

Moreover, the reports in the company newsletter show just a part of the story. The real news is available around the water cooler and it actually helps if you know what happened in the last board meeting. So the next time you need to pass on a message, try stepping out of your cubicle instead of sending yet another e-mail.


Interact, don’t gossip

Listening to gossip won’t do you much harm unless you start dishing out dirt and become a part of the story yourself. If you have issues with one of your co-workers, others don’t need to know about it. So don’t get sucked in and contribute to the trash talk; instead, quietly pull yourself away by saying as little as possible. Also, pick and choose what your really want to listen to, for irrelevant and false information might prejudice your attitude towards a co-worker and compromise your professional relationship with them.

If necessary, act on a gossip rather than just adding to it. If you hear that story of a co-worker being harassed by a work mate, bring it to the notice of the HR manager if you can’t resolve it yourself.


Don't Whine

It is a known fact that some of the most annoying people at work are the ones who complain about the most trivial things. If an important project has been passed over you, instead of crying hoarse over it, find out why you were not entrusted with the job. If you’re not happy with something, you don’t need the whole town to know it. Quietly solve the problem. It is much more desirable to be known as the problem solver, rather than someone who just brings them to notice. Be the solution of the problem, not a part of it. Clich├ęd, but very applicable.


Be the office peace-maker

Often, an indispensable employee is the one who helps keep a sense of calm in the office. He’s your go-to guy when there’s a cause for a duel. So the next time you see the events leading to a slug-fest, don’t go looking for a vantage point with popcorn in hand. As I mentioned earlier, be a part of the solution.


Create relationships

Bono may well have been thinking about the professional environment when he sang, ‘Sometimes, you can’t make it on your own.’ So it does help if you put in some effort to create and maintain positive professional relationship with your workmates. It might mean spending that extra buck on lunch with someone or even something as trivial as a nice warm conversation in the corridor.

Don’t hesitate to offer some help if one of your colleagues is stuck in your area of expertise. The odds are that he or she will seek to return the favor if you need some help yourself.

It’s not enough to be in the good books of just the ones in the senior level as people working under you are just as important in the your grand scheme of things.


Look at the larger picture

See if the long term goals of your organization are in cohesion with yours and work towards them. It won’t be long before your boss notices your enthusiasm for the company’s vision and recommends your name for promotion. And above all stay optimistic. Everyone likes a co-worker who radiates positivity.

By now you must have realised that office politics doesn’t necessarily mean mud slinging and spreading rumours. They are also the means of getting from one point to the other. For instance, getting that much desired project, a promotion or even a better cubicle. Moreover, it’s a never ending learning process. So, just look around, observe and see what works for you and what doesn’t. You will soon realise that it is not only possible to survive office politics, but you might even thrive in it!


Arrange by dearJulius.com Team


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Career Magazine: How To Survive Office Politics
How To Survive Office Politics
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