Self Help Guide for Dealing with Office Politics
Like it or not, office politics is part of the working world. Its simply something you cant run away from. Even in the most mundane environment, this still exists. Office politics, after all, can mean a workplace power play. It is a term for both the productive and counterproductive human factors present between colleagues. And unlike office gossip which can purely be a social activity, this one is an arena where people participate in order to gain advantage. So when office politics reigns supreme, there are actually several players who can fan the flame. Nonetheless, there are also several tactics to keep your sanity and your job in check.
If youre dealing with a whiner, you dont have to let their complaints get to you. Every day, this person finds something new to complain about: the hassle of going to work, the poor setup, the mountain-load of tasks, and the list goes on and on. For some, its easy to tune out the moaning and groaning, but in the long run, these can all take its toll on you. These people drag the others down with the weight of their generalizations that nothing is right, everything is wrong, and its always going to be that way unless you do something about it. The sad thing is that these people are all talk and no action. They simply expect you to clean up the act. For those with the superhero complex, hearing this person complain will gear them to be proactive. But realize that by taking on the responsibility of making the work environment a happier place for the whiner can just drain the enthusiasm out of you.
Sometimes, whiners do have a point. The key move is to filter their complaints and determine which points are valid or not. Then, suggest ways he can improve his outlook or bring it up with the people concerned. However, if the whiner is the type who wont quit, then the only thing you can do is find more positive people at work to hang out with. If that doesnt work and he latches on to you as his sounding board, take a direct approach and explain how demoralizing his constant bellyaching is.
Of course, there are also those suck-ups you have to contend with. Suffice to say, these people like being in the limelight, the apple of the boss eye. The effort can go through extreme lengths, such that he may take credit for your work. Most people are annoyed by suck-ups, and the worst possible scenario would be if he were to be promoted to a position where he can lord over you. If not dealt with properly, he could go on a power trip. Put him in his place by reminding him about your contribution. Package the product as a combined output without making anyone look bad. Most of them are totally unaware about the fact that theyre being credit-loggers, but you dont have to go on the offensive in order to remind them of that. As long as you stay professional and respectful, no one will ever fault you.
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