5 tips to deal with office politics

21 Oct 2022

Like the rest of the world, the office is not spared of any politics. From bosses who speak ill about their colleagues and to colleagues who speak about each other without one another knowing. Politics thrives in the office like shrimp at sea. When you try to deal with office politics, it’s good to be careful and decisive, but how much? And for how long?

It is a dangerous game, letting words slip here and there, about people who are around you; people who see on a daily basis. You might not even be interested in this, but you may be dragged in when lending an ear too. So, how does one be careful? How does one deal with office politics?

Here are a few ways to deal with office politics.

#1. Build connections

When your office is thriving with gossip and toxicity, it’s good to have a few friends you can be real with. You can avoid the drama with them. Instead, focus on talking about things you want to talk about—unrelated to the office. Everything negative won’t influence or affect you if you have a positive force like a few friends to save your day.

Studies suggest that loneliness at the office can affect negatively in a person’s work and mental health. This makes them the centre for office bullying and gossip. This can be avoided when you have more friends on your side.  

#2. Do not engage

It’s one thing to gossip about somebody, and it’s another to engage in the conversation. Encouragement works in different ways. People think you’re fine with gossiping if you listen and sometimes, this is a lot. Thus, to steer clear of office drama and politics, do not engage in such conversations.

This doesn’t mean you snap at them and be rude to them. Ask them calmly if they think what they are doing is right, and why they are behaving the way they are. Stay away from difficult colleagues. Make sure you do not indulge in conversation about others. even by listening to someone else doing so.

#3. Be the change you want to see

Sometimes, we have to take matters into our own hands. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” you can be the change you want to see at work! When you see someone gossiping about someone else, question them. Even if this means you may fall under the negative radar. 

Sometimes, it’s worth the negative limelight to make an important change. You do not have to approach this in a rude way. Instead, focus on positive things such as encouragement, praise, and positivity. Develop a culture of being kind and not being nosy and maybe, things will change for the better.

#4. Hold your proof

We often see colleagues talk about having completed a task in less time than they actually took. Or sometimes, they say the exact opposite. When this is going around, you can be subject to their political advancements’, where your work and credibility might be questioned. So, maintain proof of how long you’ve taken to complete a task and keep it in check.

This way, you can hold your ground if ever your credibility is in question. Try and protect your reputation as much as you can, and keep proof of how you are working in the workplace. 

#5. Be the lone wolf

No one wants to be the lone wolf, yet, sometimes, things can get too messy at the workplace. So messy that you may not even feel like fixing things, or things may be beyond repair. In such scenarios, do not shy away from being the lone wolf. Get your work done on time. Do not engage in toxic behaviour or conversations. Steer clear of politics this way in much less effort.

This can make things lonely, but you have a backup. You have friends outside the workplace with whom you can chill. You can focus on your work without any distractions. 

To deal with office politics is a hassle to productivity. Yet, you can take things into your own hands and make sure you can stay away from such toxic behavior. If the going gets too hard, and sometimes, you may feel that the tough part is not going away. It might be time for you to look for better places to work. Not just for work-related pressures, but so that you can feel better too. However, avoiding office politics isn’t all that hard if you do it the right way.

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