It seems like our organization has a lot of office politics. People care more about what they can get for themselves than getting the job done. How do I deal with office politics?
Most organizations have some level of office politics; it comes with the territory of people wanting to find the “easiest” path to achieve their personal objective. That objective may be power, fame, money, respect or an unlimited number of motives. I can tell you from my experience, a majority of the political climbers do not end up realizing their objectives when it requires being at the expense of others. The Peter Principle is still in force in most cases (Peter Principle states that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their
level of incompetence”).
Here are some suggestions that may help with office politics:
1. Self-evaluate whether you are playing or being played: Often employees complain about office politics only because they are not as successful at it as are others.
2. Find out what the politician’s objectives are and ask how you can help: If a politician knows you know what their needs are and you are willing to help them realize those goals, then they will be more direct and less strategic with you. However, not always!
3. Keep your focus on your results, not their politicking: I believe results trump politics most of the time. Those that quietly go about their business of producing exceptional results will be the long term winners
over those that spend their time politicizing their environment.
4. Be an encourager of those that are being played: Don’t fall into the trap of complaining about the politicians with others that are being played. Encourage them to focus on their results, innovation, company objectives, etc., and that the personal rewards will come in time.
There are those that always seem to politic their way to the top but have little substance to their ability. I call them “empty suits”. Keep in mind if you are playing politics, you are doing that at the expense of someone else and that is being selfish.
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