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How To Steer Clear of Office Politics in Seven Easy Steps

Office politics occurs, or rather, is considered “normal” in most workplaces. Some people claim that office politics is an important part of the workplace. Whereas others think of it as a needless part of the modern work culture. Accept it or not, office politics strains relationships and maims work culture. If you are an employee and wish to remain productive, this can hamper your growth as an individual. If you are a manager trying to seek credibility and influence your employees, office politics can be even more damaging.

Here are some steps to avoid back-office politics and stand up for what is a fair and respectful environment

Don’t share too much information

Nobody could hurt you if they don’t know you. If you have a group of close friends at work, that’s great. On the other hand, if you don’t, it might be the best ploy if they know only enough about you to have a friendly conversation.

But be careful to not give away too much. That might hinder your progress. Socializing outside work is a great way to make friends. But take care that you don’t embarrass yourself.

Don’t Gossip but stay informed

There is a fine line between gossiping and knowing what the gossip is about. You might not get involved in the trashy office talk but staying informed can be helpful in many ways. This could also prevent you from being left out.

Gossip-generated news is not always reliable. But, you can also pick some important information like promotions or major changes.

Choose your friends wisely

Think twice before making friends at work. We agree work can become extremely intolerable if you don’t have friends. Nevertheless, it is important to choose your friends carefully. But it doesn’t in any way mean that you should stop socializing at work.

If you make a work friend that constantly gossips about others, choose to be friends with different coworkers. Who you choose to befriend also impacts the decision your boss makes for you.

They might test you

When you are at work, assume everything is a test. Keep in mind, that you are being watched. The management might play games with you to test if you are worth a promotion.

Especially, managers play such games to see if you are trustworthy or not. Make no mistake in such situations. Do not share any juicy piece of gossip or confidential information related to the project with any coworker.

Maintain boundaries

In a work environment, it is important to maintain strict boundaries. This applies especially when you are a manager or a supervisor. Do not get drawn into gossiping or petty discussions.

If you are a manager, you are not allowed to befriend any employee. Keep it as professional as possible.  Maintain a work-oriented tone when you deal with colleagues in your team.

Stay calm

Somebody gossiping about you at work could be pretty frustrating. But counter-gossipping is not an option. You do not want to be the same, right?

Think about the long term. Take the high road. It’s better to talk to the person who started the drama and sort things out.

Communicate with your manager

Are you planning to land a promotion? Don’t let your boss know this through the grapevine. Communicate with them directly.
Generally, managers are busy. They want problem solvers. Make it easy for them by communicating directly that you are interested in advancing. Usually, managers appreciate this behavior and can also help you in getting a promotion.

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