When people hear office politics – the words ‘backstabbing’, ‘spreading malicious rumours’, and ‘sucking up’ to the right people jump at them. This makes most employees want to stay as far away from it as possible!
Accepting it as a reality is the foundation for positively making politics work for you. It may change over time as people come and go in your organisation, but, chances are, it will never disappear entirely. But, like it or not, office politics are a fact of life in any organisation, and you can use it to your advantage:
Be a team player – A team player helps the team achieve its goals and helps other people achieve their goals. Be a star by making other people look good rather than taking credit for other people’s achievements.
Don’t whine and complain – Anybody can complain about a problem and develop a reputation for being a problem solver. The really valuable employees are those that prevent or solve problems.
Help your boss succeed – This is a smart strategy because your boss is a major player in your promotability and how upper management perceives you and your work. If you have a positive relationship with your boss, your boss is more likely to support your career and help you advance.
Be good at what you do – Put in the work and develop your expertise and competence. If your colleagues perceive you as a slacker or a poor worker, they will not support you. They will also resent your getting promoted before them.
Office politics may not always be fun, but you will be more successful playing it if you play it the right way.