Many professionals feel reluctant to take part in what they call “Office Politics”. They consider all non-work related interactions a waste of time and energy. They want disagreements settled through facts and by what’s right – not by whose friends with whom, who owes whom or who wants something from someone. They perceive all that as obvious manipulation. But if you want to move forward in your career, you need to step out of your comfort zone and recognize the many faces of office politics, even if you don’t want to participate in the game! Akhtaboot provides you with some guidelines that can help you exercise influence in political environments while staying away from playing the game.
Work with Others for Mutual Benefit
Some employees believe that focusing on benefiting themselves at work is the key to succeed in playing office politics. But a smart and wise employee is someone who wishes for the good of all involved parties. Your success at work is so interconnected to the success of your team that it is not possible to benefit yourself while neglecting others.
Don’t Allow Disagreements to Become Personal
In order to succeed at resolving conflict in a healthy manner, you need to learn how to differentiate between political conflict and healthy conflict. Political players usually attack either by personally attacking the other person’s ideas or people themselves. Since there is no one way in doing anything, you need to discuss and debate in order to understand the intentions of the other person. The first step is to identify all parties’ interests regarding the issue at hand. The second step is to recast personal attacks on the problem itself. And finally, you can settle any unresolved disagreements by including a neutral third party.
Claim your Credit
Among the many things that bad office politicians have been known to do is to steal credit for your hard work or ideas. Don’t be afraid to highlight your own accomplishments to your boss and coworkers. An assertive personality is tough to break down. Make sure that you document your work and include your accomplishments in status reports. This will make it more difficult for others to steal credit from you. Even if your company doesn’t require periodic status reports, you can still send one each month to your boss, along with any other key people you think would be interested to know. Look at this as a form of documentation.
Conduct Yourself According to your Values
In order to find fulfillment at work, your job must be compatible with your values. Some people are motivated by money, power, and status while others find meaning or purpose in the opportunity for personal accomplishment, growth and social relationships. If you find yourself wrestling to stay true to your values within your company’s political turbulence, you need to make a conscious effort to maintain your integrity and credibility. Even when the jungle gets rough, you can influence a great deal by simply being a role model for others. If you feel that you’ve hit a wall in your current working environment, it’s time to start looking for one that’s a better fit.