Company Politics. I’m sure half of you are mentally groaning already. I mean, who wants to talk about that? No one, and that’s why it is so important to talk about. Unfortunately, there are only two sides to this story: Either you play the game, or you’re watching it.
Now, you may say it’s against your morals to play into the company games. Shouldn’t your success in a company be based on your hard work? Too bad that’s not how it works. In a perfect utopian world, we would all get what we deserve, but this is the corporate jungle.
For all of our sakes, Monster has put together a list of things you can do to “win at office politics without selling your soul.”
How to beat out office politics
Marty Nemko, a contributor at Monster, first touches on “positive politics” in the article. This is a great place to start if you don’t want to fight fire with fire. You cannot control other people’s actions, so all you can do is control yours. You can reach out to people you respect, go out of your way to be kind, and become visible in the company, says Nemko. These are great tips, but sometimes they are easier said than done. It’s hard to play the good guy when people around you seem to play that villain role all too well and STILL get what they want.
Nemko also warns to “keep your antennae out.” Be aware of what’s going on around you and who is playing the games around you. It’s good to be aware even if you are not partaking yourself. It is a preventative measure in company politics.
Lastly, Nemko touches on how to deal with politics when it seems like you are on the wrong side of things. You can ask a trusted higher-up for advice or another point of view. Maybe ask the person who seems to be perpetuating the issue or express your concern. This is great advice, but again can be difficult in practice. You may not have a support system at work, or you may have a hard time with confrontation. Just know that you are not alone in the company politics game.
How to deal with politics if you’re head-honcho:
If you are the boss in this situation, and you are seeing office politics take your employees out, you shouldn’t let it go. The above advice can apply to you with some minor adjustments. If you see it happen or an employee confides in you, find out all the information you can and try to solve the issue. Politics can negatively affect company culture, and that will reflect on you. Hopefully, both sides can find a solution that at least minimizes company politics.
Company politics is a part of every level of an organization, but just read any motivational poster and “do you best” to make things as painless as possible.