Office politics is something we need to live with. However fanciful it may be to imagine a place where there is no politics, reality is something else. Where there are a group of people and even a slight imbalance in expectations and aspirations, there will be politics.
Here’s my take on what you as an individual can do to handle the situation better.
Don’t do unto others what you don’t want to be done to you – It is as simple as it says. You hate politics and those who play games, but did you realize you play games too. Introspect and questions your actions on a regular basis. The actions are often small, like replying to an email when its not really for you to respond, or voicing your views just to impress your boss, when its not really needed. These little things build the big story. Droplets of water do make an ocean. So first and foremost, let us begin with ourselves.
Work not just hard but smart – Work speaks for itself. If you are delivering results, no amount of political maneuvering can come between you and success. Not to say there will be no challenges, but eventually hard and especially smart work always pays off. Even if your current situation may not bring you immediate benefits of your labor, they build your brand which helps eventually in the longer run.
Don’t be stupid – Refusing to be part of the political game does not mean you become stupid and let others trample you. Be smart, upfront and vigilant about your rights and duties. Make you sure you get credit where its due and not take where it’s not. In the end if the political games are too much to ignore, have a professional and mature response to that.
Responding to dirty politics with some of your own, might seem an easier option. However put on your thinking hat, let your innovation flow and find a better option. Its always worth it !!
Hrishikesh is an enterprise agile coach with interests in varied disciplines. Frequently writing on Agile and Lean related topics, he also occasionally ventures into other stuff like Artificial Intelligence as well..
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