As we’ve noted before, office politics are inevitable when you lock a group of people together for eight hours a day. So while the phrase “office politics” may leave a bad taste in your mouth, it’s difficult to advance if you do know how to simultaneously work well with your colleagues and stand out from the pack. We’ve got a guest post today full of good advice on how to handle office politics from the folks at Official Space.
How to Handle Office Politics: The Business Success Cheat Sheet
When you graduate from university or start your first job straight out of high school, you will often be unaware or naive as to the politics that go on in the workplace. It is a fact that office politics are used by certain people to gain a head start over others.
Some practice bad office politics at the expense of others, whereas others use it to promote themselves in a more positive way.
Whether you like it or not, nowadays you need to navigate the minefield in order to advance your own career. And believe us, it is possible to work your way to the top without compromising others in the process.
Don’t believe us? Office politics are inevitable because:
- Most organisations have a hierarchy and some people have power over others
- Conflict is unavoidable due to competition for promotion
- Some workers have to contest for resources which can lead to tension
How to win at office politics:
- Be observant
Your best bet is to be a really good listener. Sit back, take everything in and then use the information to build yourself up.
For example, work out your colleague’s pet likes and hates. It will pay to know that Sarah, the General Manager, has a guilty pleasure for chocolate and likewise, it will be useful to know that Mike, the Finance Director, dislikes anyone distracting him from 10-12 am.
Also, by listening intently you are less likely to say something damaging.
- Who are the key players?
There are certain people in your office that can help you get jobs done and inform you about the latest on-goings. Identify these key players to survive. How? Well which employees are popular for advice, which are indispensable, who has lunch with the top management team, and who is at the top of the company’s organisation chart?
But remember, influential people are not necessarily at the top. It could be the President’s administrative assistance who holds more juicy information than the President role itself.
- Do you give credit when it’s due?
Someone will always remember the time you didn’t acknowledge them for their work, so make sure you give credit when it is appropriate. After all, you would want to be recognized for your contribution, if you did well?
Too often people don’t hail a job well done but it will earn you respect from everyone, and what goes around comes around.
- Learn and move on
You are bound to make a mistake at some point in your career. We’re human. But how you deal with it will make or break you in the workplace. Whatever you decide to do, do not pass the buck onto a colleague because this is a sure-fire way to land yourself in hot water.
Be mature, acknowledge that you were wrong, apologize, explain what you are going to learn from the experience and how you are going to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and then simply move on tastefully.
So there you have the business success cheat sheet to winning at office politics. Is there anything we’ve not mentioned? Let us know by commenting below!
This article was written by Official Space, the go-to-experts for offices to rent around the UK.