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5 Ways to Tactfully Navigate Workplace Politics

Workplace politics: they are rifts and rampant in every place you will ever work. In corporate offices, the hospitality market, even for freelancers. It doesn’t look to matter what your role, trade, or the environment, there will always be some sort of workplace politics with which to battle.

If you can’t fight it (or live in dissent), it’s essential to train yourself how to deal with tittle-tattle, political clique, and infighting at work. In some cases, staying out of the fray is best; in others, being eliminated can reach to being passed over for advancements. There’s a parity between adding to the nasty front of workplace politics and holding up for your hard work and reliability. Here’s how to walk that line.

  1. Find Your People

When it comes to trafficking with complex people at work, it’s always good to have somebody on your side. This doesn’t mean you’re building an army to fight dirty but instead finding like-minded people to get along with who can support you in your career and can see the bigger picture.

Your people will always be there to vent with and clear out some of the pressure that builds up in an office atmosphere. Find a mentor who can help you if high-level politics are targeting you. They should be there to escort you by meeting the expectations, getting the right allies, and rising above workplace politics before they drag you down.

Knowing you have a team besides you make dealing with the routine politics a bit easier.

  1. Document Your Work and Time

There are various ways that office politics can get you down; two big ones are when somebody takes credit for your job, or when a naysayer challenges you haven’t been pulling your weight.

Don’t let workplace vultures wear you down. Document nearly every way you contribute to bettering your company and meeting your expectations. Accurately record your breaks, what you’ve been working on, any issues you’ve run into. Markdown if you’ve had a bad interaction with somebody, including time, date, and a brief summary of what was said. A time tracker or a task-list tool can consolidate your to-do list with a digital recording of your productivity.

By having proper records, you’ve furnished yourself with the erudition you need if you ever get pulled into a political situation.

  1. Take the High Road

If you hear one of your co-workers has been speaking badly about you to their colleagues’ friends or your bosses, it’s so critical not to stoop to their level. Don’t become negative and start blurting all the bad things to them; this just makes you look like an immature guy.

Likewise, if one of your peers has ever sandbagged you — that is, intentionally underperformed so that you seem bad (on a team project for instance) — try cheering them on what work they have done rather than belittling them on what action they haven’t done. With a positive approach, you can, however, turn the eyes onto your underperforming coworker, enabling others to ascertain for themselves where the lapse originated.

  1. Get to Know the Social Circles

Part of avoiding workplace politics is understanding who the performers are — and what drives them. Regardless of whether your office has an official organizational structure, there is much likely going to be an unofficial pecking system. Take the time to give attention to who really has power and who really makes the choices. Furthermore, pay attention to any groups or tight-knit social circles. Office telltale is abounding and tends to start in clique situations.

Some parts of office politics are relatively benign: and you can participate by showing your face at an after-work happy hour or bringing in bagels every now and then. Doing these little things that make everybody’s day pleasant doesn’t really have to come with any political impulse. You can be kind to the people in these groups without getting embroiled in drama.

  1. Rise Above the Negative

If you hear any bad or misleading rumors, stay away. But that doesn’t imply staying away from news altogether.

Research notes that a little office gossip can be good: the more you and your coworkers talk, the healthier your relationships. Trading knowledge on your mutual relationships is a bonding experience, and irrespective of the topic of conversation, you are sharing something important and both availing from it.

Alma Reed is an author and researcher dedicated to enhancing productivity. He is deeply interested in areas like time management, increasing productivity, and fostering healthy routines. Through his writing, he aims to assist people in boosting their job performance and attaining an ideal balance between work and life.

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