5 Ways to Diffuse Office Politics

Conflict, hypocrisy, gossip, competition, power plays – not words you want to associate with the workplace, but office politics are consistent in every company and they won’t ever go away.  Office politics is simply about the variances between people at work; conflicts of interest, differences in opinions, communication barriers. There is no need to fear them. You can be a top performer by learning to master the art of winning in office politics. Below are a few tips to help you learn how.

  1.  Network before you need to network. Being good at politics means that you are good at relationship building, and you can count on a wide range of people when you need them.
  2. Live at peace with others. Not to say you have to be a pushover for everyone, just be professional and pleasant while being assertive when necessary. If you have to tell someone something you know they won’t like, explain the reasons behind your decision and try to come up with alternative solutions together.
  3. Stay away from gossip at the water cooler! Gossip can destroy the dynamics of an office quick. Simply put, just stay away from it as nothing good will come from it. If you find yourself involved in a conversation that turns into gossip don’t partake, instead subtly change the subject by keeping it related to what the gossip is about, but in a non – malicious way.
  4. Practice self-awareness. This is a life-long task and every day you can become a little bit more aware of how people perceive you. Just doing your job is not enough. You need to do it in a way that makes a positive impression on everyone else.
  5. Always be approachable. In your office, cubicle, even in the bathroom! Always being approachable builds trust and helps people to know they can rely on you.

Office politics are a fact of life. Learning the dynamics of your office politics will help you get what you want in the world of work without conceding others in the process. Learn to use its power positively while defusing the efforts of those who abuse it.