For many people, the words “office politics” conjure up images of manipulativeness, backstabbing, or slippery co-workers who kiss up to the boss and flaunt their influence to get what they want. words smell Of unfairness and are almost always used to refer to the underbelly of the workplace. many employees Refuse to get involved outright or vow to keep your head down, do your job, and avoid the drama. However there are some problems with this. this approach Office politics is incomplete-and avoiding them can actually be hurt his career.
it happened to me. I dropped out of a job, which means I lost my influence, because I ignored the hidden norms and rules that, for example, dictate which projects are approved and which are not. I was naive about the relationships and risk I needed to take in order to get support for my work.
So, I spent a lot of time complaining about how unfair things were. but IIn fact, key decision-makers didn’t know me, and I was oblivious to the wider organizational effects of conflicting priorities, diverse leadership personalities, and uncertain budgets. If I had spent more time learning about these factors and building relationships with people who could advocate for me, I would have had a different experience.
Trying to understand office politics more broadly and accepting them as a natural and predictable aspect of work benefits everyone. Here’s some guidance.
how to understand office politics
If you are also disinterested in this aspect of the job, It’s time to expand your understanding. this lesson Organizational Behavior This definition provides: “Organizational politics are informal, informal, and sometimes behind-the-scenes efforts to sell ideas, influence an organization, increase power, or achieve other targeted objectives.” Note the neutrality of the definition.
how are these efforts employed That’s what makes them good or bad. Bad politics looks like giving out false information to get more money, gossiping about co-workers, and taking credit for the work of others. Good politics looks like building relationships up, down, and throughout the organization, sharing information, and looking for ways to advance the mission, which means potentially giving up your own ambition.
I advocate that leaders and parties start talking about good politics to remove the damage caused by their one-sidedness. Look around and notice how people are using informal or informal methods to get things done for the greater good of the team or organization. You can also Do this and be able to step into workplace politics—But in a way that just feels right.
Know the skills needed for good office politics
If you want to do well in office politics, it’s important to know the skills needed. Gerald Ferris, APProfessor at University of Florida and co-author of the book political skills at work, and colleagues have recognized Four Dimensions of Political Skills in the Workplace,
- social subtlety: KNow how other people see you and how your behavior affects them.
- Reciprocal Effects: A tangible ability to influence how and what other people think by perceiving them.
- Networking Capability: Ability to build mutually beneficial relationships with a wide range of diverse people.
- Clear Honesty: appearing honest and open, that inspires support and trust. This is the key: thisnot enough to Happen honest. people should Believe You’re sincerely.
Researchers have found that high performance in these dimensions can make or break one’s effectiveness at work. as robert Kaiser, Tomas Chamorro-Przemik, and Derek write lusk harvard business review, ,These political skills affect your career independent of your personality and intelligence. On the one hand, political acumen can compensate for being less outgoing or not being the smartest person in the room. On the other hand, a lack of political acumen can derail otherwise intelligent, honest and hard-working people.”
Knowing the skills needed is the first step. The second step is to start practicing them. The easiest place to start is building relationships with a wide range of people. Start within your own department and progressively expand across department silos. The possessive mindset focuses on the relationship.building, Knowing that this relationship could prove beneficial for a future endeavor.
Partner up with someone who excels at office politics
Because each organization has its own flavor of politics, it’s helpful to learn from those who are steeped in the culture. While training can helpReal progress comes from observing and discussing how politics is run with a skilled person in the organization.
It’s even better to have someone provide guidance while you flex new skills. As you have these discussions, be transparent and share how you want to learn how to positively navigate politics in the organization. Plan to interact with people who only see politics as a bad thing. You will be the first person to educate them.
If you don’t know where to start, ask around and find out who is the most respected in the organization. Don’t ask about the most powerful or influential or even the most politically savvy person. People associated with those terms may be more closely associated with the bad rather than the good. Seek respect Often, these people have abilities that demonstrate healthy political acumen.
As much as we’d all like to ignore or avoid office politics, we can’t. They are here to stay. They are a natural part of humans working together. The choice is how to play them, for good or for bad. Start practicing skills and partner with those most respected people. You’ll find that it’s really about establishing and nurturing positive workplace relationships.