COMPANY CULTURE / JAN. 25, 2015
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Top 5 Ways to Manage Office Politics

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Office politics are critical and always influence the nature of relationships, discussion and decisions in the workplace. You have probably noted or experienced differences between you and your colleagues at work. Such differences in opinions may even lead to conflicts. Most people engage in office politics for personal gain. Rarely do people, who engage in these petty politics, make substantial contributions to the organisation’s development. Since it is impossible to avoid office politics, below are some tips that will help you manage them.

#1 Be Observant

Don’t get so engrossed in your tasks that you remain oblivious to other events taking place in your office. Stay updated with new events as they occur to keep yourself prepared for new changes. Office gossip is not good, but it remains the greatest source of office secrets that you would easily come across. Be vigilant, and occasionally listen to gossip to stay updated, but don’t spread it.

#2 Never Take Sides

party. If you get stuck between two power figures who are on opposing sides handle them diplomatically. Whenever you take a side, you make at least one enemy, and that is risky since you don’t know who will be your boss in a few months. Focus on the work at hand and try to find a proper communication ground to get them cooperating again.

#3 Maintain an Open Door Policy

Let everyone on your team feel free to talk to you when they have issues to discuss. They will be comfortable around you especially if you are their leader. Being distant to your colleagues discourages them from reporting or informing you about new developments or sinister activities by manipulative colleagues in your team. If you are unapproachable, you stand to lose your team especially when their uneasiness continues growing, and they decide to quit the firm.

#4 Never Get Personal

Office politics can get you angry and give you an urge to tell the other parties off, and give them a piece of your mind. Exercise restraint since people often rarely forget insults and humiliation. Victory from such a confrontation is short-lived but yields no solution to the conflict. You may pay dearly in the future should you need the other party’s help or should they decide to sabotage you. Avoid outburst and concentrate on forging allies and supportive working relationships.

#5 Understand Before Pushing to be Understood

People always have the urge to get understood but never take a moment to understand others and, as a result, simple differences in opinions can become conflicts. Understand this urge and use it your advantage. Seeking to understand others disarms them. When a colleague feels that you understand them, they become less defensive and more inclined to understanding you. Open communication becomes possible, and both parties can strike a compromise without mistrust.

Never resist or try to change your firm’s organizational culture. Also, adopt proper stress management practices and improve your self-awareness. Never try to defeat gossip with gossip but always communicate appropriately and clearly. Avoid perfectionism and consistently seek win-win solutions to conflicts.

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