WORKPLACE / OCT. 24, 2014
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How to Avoid Office Politics

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Regardless of where you work, you will experience workplace politics on some level. Office politics come into play in many forms such as gossip, power plays, and selfish ambition. There are ways to steer clear of the drama. This article will address several steps that you can take to avoid office politics and succeed in your career.

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1. Maintain a Positive Perspective

Maintaining a genuine optimistic perspective can help you to stay focused on your current tasks and also cultivates a positive atmosphere in the office. Positivity and negativity are contagious and can infect everyone in the workplace. Choose to be positive each day and cultivate that constructive energy amongst your colleagues. One way to stay positive is to invite other similarly minded people into your circle of trust. Don’t spend more time than you have to with the negative people in the office. Of course, be true to reality and don’t live in the clouds. However, balance the negative issues in your life with a positive perspective that can help you to focus on your work and not on office politics.

2. Don’t Participate in Gossip

There will always be those in the office who thrive on gossip and spreading rumors. If you want to avoid office politics, then you need to learn how to politely excuse yourself from those negative conversations. If there is no way to walk away without appearing rude, try to change the topic and turn the conversation around. Counteract the negativity by bringing up a positive quality about the person being discussed. Gossip can quickly become a deconstructive situation in the workplace and usually causes harm to the victims. Make every effort to refrain from participating in such detrimental conversations.

3. Hold to Your Boundaries

In order to form genuine relationships in the workplace, you must be honest and share your true self. However, you need to temper your personality to fit within the confines of professional behaviour. When you know who you are and are confident in your personal convictions, you won’t be easily swayed by those colleagues who engage in office politics. It is also important to stay within your boundaries. For example, be professional and refrain from divulging too much personal information, such as discussing religion and politics. When you have no boundaries and share every minute detail about your life, you are unwittingly providing information for the office gossips.

4. Become a Good Listener

If you are interested in succeeding in your career in the right way, you need to become a good listener. Don’t talk all the time. Engage others in genuine conversation, but learn how to converse and actually listen to what they’re saying. To avoid participating in office politics, you must maintain an air of neutrality and not be seen as playing to one side or the other. Refraining from engaging in office politics takes hard work and discipline. You can easily fall prey to becoming a victim or being party to hurting others. Remembering to keep your conversations positive and on point will help you to avoid office politics.

5. Team Players Succeed

If you are seen as being a team player rather than only out for yourself, you will more easily avoid office politics. Others will see that you are a genuine individual and have no time to waste in playing games and participating in the rumor mill or vying for power. You must behave professionally and show by your actions that you take your career seriously and want to focus on your job. When issues arise, don’t ever cause a scene in the office. Make an effort to discuss conflicts in private with the party involved or your manager. Your image is important because it defines you as a person of positive or negative character.

Avoiding office politics is easier if you realize the possible issues that can arise and develop a personal game plan for bypassing those entanglements in the workplace. Following the five steps listed in this article will assist you in the process.

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