Office politics: whats your position?

May 16, 2013 | |

Office politics is a relative term.

The one receiving the benefits always believes that politics never happened; he/she got the justice. The one on the other end has a different story to tell.

So, which side of office politics are you in? Or should you be part of it at all?

  • Is politics evil? - As a professional, you have 4 types of needs and more then often you will need alliances to build up your case, move to the next project, get sponsored and mostly get things done. Politics generally has a negative connotation unless you have used it to your benefit. Most professionals who are successful at what they do, are stakeholders or simply leaders have worked their way up, made themselves visible- is not only by the sheer power of their work, it’s also by getting a lot of help and support. And that takes time to build.  So, what is politics really?
  • Whom should you trust?- Are you allowed to have a real friend in office? How much information and personal life should you share? You know social networks use your information, so does  HR. Plus most of the information you share with your work friends might be shared with their office friends or simply used when the friendship goes sour. So, the best idea would be to be careful and not share anything that can be used against you to get leverage. 
  • You are at the receiving end of the smear campaign- All it takes is a small event to trigger off smear campaigns. So make sure, who you comment about and what you say. Plus as long as you are in office premises, don’t let your guard down even if it’s office parties. 
  • Power struggle- Politics is simply being part of power struggle and office politics is inevitable. No matter how much we try to stop it, it never will be. 
  • Positioning yourself- The ultimate goal whether you want to be part of office politics or not is to position yourself visibly. You want to keep an ethical and honest impression at your work place. Keep an eye on everyone and keep yourself safe from being portrayed negatively for others benefit. To reap the benefits, look into the organizational structure and people who are influential and have a positive impression and associate with them. Beware of being around people who are known to have negative impacts; it takes very little to turn tables against you. 


Dave Gordon said...

"Politics" is how groups of people who share power agree on what they will do with their resources. Totalitarian societies don't have politics, and neither does anarchy. But successful, progressive groups have internal politics, and when they interact with other groups, they engage in external politics. If you don't like the way politics is practiced in your organization, chances are you have other reasons to be unhappy there.