You may be an ace at your professional skills, but it also takes proficiency in some life skills to excel in your career. A workplace can include people from all walks of life, with different experiences that shape up their outlook and behavior towards others. Some people’s actions are driven by self-confidence, while insecurity leads some to jeopardize other’s work life. This can easily hamper a person’s mental health and affect productivity. If you are surrounded by such people, you must learn how to deal with office politics to maintain your sanity and work well.
How can office politics affect performance at work
We may feel “why is this happening to me?”, but in reality, office politics is a universal reality. People at all levels in an office ecosystem can face the music.
According to a 2014 study on office politics, people practice this professional evil to either excel at their work or largely to degrade others’ performance.
The study, written by Swati Sharma of Quantum School of Business and Omveer Gautam of Doon University, and cited on ResearchGate, concludes that office politics is something people just have to learn to deal with. That’s because despite the management’s efforts, it’s something that continues to exist.
5 ways to deal with office politics
1. Stay focused on the job
Office politics can work like Chinese Whispers. You mostly end up believing what you hear. So, rather than dwelling on hearsay, it’s better to just do your job well. This will also help you meet deadlines, without feeling the need for any procrastination at work. Ensure that your manager distributes work equally among team members. This will help as no one person feels the pressure, and nobody will have the free time to indulge in office politics or even workplace bullying.
2. Try to know the truth
Don’t believe hearsay blindly. More than half the office
politics gets a fillip because of “He told me so” or “She told me about this”. You’ve got to try not to pay attention to what others say. Try to seek the truth yourself instead of feeling infuriated on what others tell you. This will help you safeguard your own interests.
3. Recognize the office politicians
Once you are able to identify the people who indulge in office politics and play mental games, you can manage it better. Otherwise, it’s like shooting in the dark. Know your backstabbers and be careful in your interactions with them. You surely don’t need to be surrounding by two-faced people and those who contribute towards a toxic workplace.
4. Avoid gossip mongers
Don’t perpetuate office gossip. Avoid being a part of gossip circles yourself, so that you have every chance to practice ‘bura mat kaho, bura mat suno’! This way, you will be able to avoid whining and listening to people who whine.
5. Build a healthy communication channel with your boss
The last thing you want to do is to suffer in silence. If the office politics seems to go beyond what you can handle, it may be time to speak to your manager of boss. Sometimes, being mentally disturbed due to the office politics, can mess up your way to set it right yourself. That’s why you may need someone else to look at it objectively.