Office politics can be an absolute nightmare to navigate. However, if you are looking to get ahead or achieve that next promotion you’ve been working for, you’ll want to follow our top 10 ways to become a pro when it comes to office politics.
1. Understand who are the influencers in your organization.
While every organization has managers and leaders, oftentimes, there are influencers throughout each department. By understanding who has the most control over the decisions in your workplace, you’ll be setting yourself up for success when it comes to grasping office politics.
2. Build a support system that will help you become more proficient in office politics.
Everyone needs a support system in every aspect of their life to get ahead. Find co-workers who you can trust and turn to during the most challenging days in your office. We encourage you to find friendships throughout your company instead of just relying on people within your department or team.
As Elon Musk said, “It’s very important to like the people you work with, otherwise life [and] your job is gonna be quite miserable.”
3. Improve your people skills to become proficient in office politics.
If you want to get ahead with office politics, you need to have excellent people skills. Learn to handle your emotions instead of exploding like the Hulk. Make sure you take the time to listen to other people as well, instead of always being the one leading the conversation.
4. Distance yourself from drama.
When there’s unnecessary drama going on in your team or department, take a step back. If someone tries to pull you into a conversation about what’s happening, just say you aren’t interested and keep your head down until the storm passes.
5. Avoid passing rumors.
Rumors and gossip are one of the nastiest parts of office politics. Make sure you avoid passing on rumors, as this just keeps the vicious circle going round and round. Even if you are told a piece of juicy gossip, run away as fast as a high-speed train instead of spreading it around the office. As Marie Curie said, “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
6. Document your contributions.
A key issue within office politics is when another colleague takes credit for someone else’s work. To avoid this happening to you, make sure you document your contributions so no one else can take advantage of the hard work you’ve put in.
7. Focus on your own goals instead of office politics.
As an ambitious young professional, you no doubt have a goal in mind for your career. Instead of getting dragged into the drama, crack on and focus on what you have control over and keep your head in the game.
8. Know that you have a choice.
It’s important to understand you have a choice in whether you get involved in office politics or not. While it takes a lot of bravery to walk away from other people’s petty drama and the buzz of gossip, you’ll find that your life is so much more peaceful without it.
9. Avoid taking sides.
When two of your teammates are arguing over who looks most like Chris Hemsworth, you don’t need to get involved in the discussion. Avoid taking sides and stay neutral on any discussions that don’t require your input.
10. Deliver what you promise.
To avoid being the subject of any of the office gossip, make sure you deliver your work as promised. Don’t overpromise and say you’ll finish a million-page report by the weekend if you know you don’t have any time. Keep your word, and you’ll become a trusted member of the team.
By following these 10 tips, you can take yourself out of the office drama and focus on your work. You’ll find that in the long run, you’ll be much more successful within your current role and enjoy your day-to-day work more than ever before.
Now that you know what to do to become proficient in office politics, what actions are you going to take?
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