6 Top Tips to Mastering Office Politics

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Written by Seun Oyediran

6 Top Tips to Make Office Politics Work for You

Office politics manifest in different forms and occur due to people placing personal emotions ahead of an organization’s goals. These office politics forms include avoiding responsibilities, undermining performance, backstabbing, and pressure from the boss. The case of office politics is common in corporate organizations, and it’s imminent you understand how to survive office politics when you observe them. 

From personal experience, office politics did change my overall perspective about the workplace. I often get into quarrels with both my co-workers and boss over assigning responsibilities. I must say, I am a high-performer who takes care of work responsibilities with due diligence. My co-workers didn’t put in much work as I do, despite the bulk of work leveled to my team. 

The worst part: my boss doesn’t compensate me for work done and complains at the slightest mistake. Of course, I did contemplate quitting the Job, but I decided to step up the game with office politics management. By placing several strategies in place, I dealt with work-related politics and established a sphere of influence by building a fantastic relationship with my boss and co-workers. And here, I will itemize these strategies you can employ to manage office politics. 

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What is Office Politics?

Office Politics refers to acts that characterize placing self-interests and agendas ahead of an organization’s mission and business goals. Many political actions in an organization are driven by self-centeredness and self-fulfillment, hence destabilizing relationships and maiming growth. In a workplace where office politics is highly toxic, hard work, skills, and integrity are not appreciated by the major key-players

How to play office politics? 6 Blockbuster Tips

It’s a no-brainer that office politics makes the best people quit their jobs. In other parts, office politics can derail your performance and efficiency. However, the best way for playing office politics is by employing the following office politics tips without denting your influence. Do consider these secrets to winning at office politics as the best guide to office politics and implement them to build a cordial relationship with your boss and co-workers. 

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  1. Review the Organization key Players

Every organization has a major stakeholder, one with strong power of influence. Managing office politics entails observing, understanding, and reviewing the key player’s power of influence based on their personality. You should take this step without the need to focus on their corporate ranking or Job title. 

Get to know their contributions to the business and the extent to which they can exercise authority. Once you are done reviewing the Key players, you can ally with them in the best way. You did be able to fill in any gaps in the system. If the major key players are doing more harm than good, you get to isolate them and build other relationships.

2. Understand the Existing Relationship and Build Connections

Once you understand where power and influence lie in an organization, the next line of action is to study existing relationships among employees. Do check existing cliques, in-house groups, and external groups. Observe the type of relationship (formal or informal) between different co-workers, whether based on respect, romance, or friendship.

Now, understanding the existing relationships lets you decide how to build your social networks or connections. It would be best if you build quality connections with everyone within the organization. Don’t make a mistake isolating yourself from a specific group to avoid social conflicts. Besides, if you seek to build personal relationships with a fellow employee, ensure it’s based on consent to prevent inappropriate influence. 

3. Enhance your Skills

Since office politics is based on personal emotions, playing office politics games requires building relevant people skills. These skills are emotional intelligence, assertiveness, and interpersonal skills. With Emotional intelligence, you can reflect on your emotions, understand what drives them, and regulate them for building quality relationships. 

The best part: Emotional intelligence keeps you aware of people’s emotions and how to approach them. Assertiveness keeps you aware of your strengths and weaknesses in carrying out complete tasks leveled to you and your teammates. With assertiveness, you did be able to communicate your abilities to co-workers in an intelligent manner. 

With interpersonal skills, you will learn how to listen effectively and develop the power of eminence. All these skills in one keep you politically aware and allow you to make intelligible judgments. Once you enhance your skills in these aspects, you set the pace for effectiveness, career advancement, and a workplace devoid of office politics signs. 

4. Maximize your Connections

You get a good hand in office politics management when you leverage your connections. Also, you stand a better chance of unveiling opportunities when you communicate your interest to your connections. Identify individuals within your connection who are willing to help. Make your close connections understand your end goals and what you wish to achieve. 

However, maximize your connections with positive political action, don’t bad-mouth others, and ensures this step aligns with the organization’s goals. Don’t be a parasite; do contribute to the interest of your connections. Ask them questions like; how may I help? On a final note, follow up with your connections; by doing this, you set the pace for long-lasting relationships with your boss and corporate heads. 

5. Be Confident, but Not Ignorant

To get in shape on how to handle work politics, you do need to portray confidence. Be ready to approach people who practice bad politics. This is where the phrase “Keep your friends close and your enemy closer” applies. However, as long as you wish to get involved with such people, do approach this with caution. 

Some people do act in a bad manner due to their insecurities. Therefore, take intentional steps to understand their goals, so you know how best to avoid negative political attitudes. By then, you can always count on and protect yourself from any manipulative or derailing behavior. 

6. Establish a positive political relationship

Whatever you do, don’t get engaged with negative work politics. Be an advocate of change, and don’t seek to fuel the negative politics around you. One way you can get around negative work politics is to avoid spreading rumors that lack credibility. I took my time to study my fellow employees and understand what’s going on in their personal lives before making assumptions. 

Being tactical with keeping organizational secrets is another way to keep a positive political relationship with your boss and co-workers. When making critical points, try to be confident yet less aggressive in proving a point. Be professional, don’t take sides with a group against another, and that is just how to win office politics in an organization. 

Final Thoughts on how to win at office politics

Starting a career with any organization requires basic knowledge of office politics and how it works in building relationships. Here, I have armed you with 6 tips for dealing with office politics to help deal with politics in the office or workplace. Digest these office politics tips, propel them into action, and advance your career today. So, can you share your experience working with your co-workers and boss?

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