Office politics is real, whether you like it or not. You may wish you could pretend politics don’t exist in the workplace, but that would be ignoring an important aspect of your job, and ultimately leaving yourself open to negative consequences. Whether you’re trying to break into the business world or you’ve been at your current company for years, it’s better to play office politics smartly than to ignore them entirely. Here are four reasons why ignoring office politics is a bad idea and how you should handle office politics instead.

1) Getting Involved in Office Politics Can Lead to More Opportunities

You never know who you might need to ask for help or information. In order to make sure you have those relationships which might be beneficial, you will need to be involved in office politics. If you keep your head down and do your own thing, you’re less likely to get what you need. Participating in office politics will only serve your interests in more ways than one. You will build better relationships with others, which could come in handy later on if you need assistance or someone else needs something from you.

Some people believe office politics are unavoidable—you may as well play by their rules and reap whatever benefits they offer while they last. Office politics can actually lead to more opportunities since people like to work with other people that they like and trust better. Remember self-promotion is necessary for a better professional life.  Your visible contributions can be easily tracked with performance management tools which PeerBie offers a great one to make sure your work is not unseen, yet in this case office politics helps to make those ‘invisible contributions’ of yours much more visible and countable to eyes.

2) Contributes to developing your social skills

Office politics can contribute to your social skills
Office politics can contribute to your social skills

Working in an office can be a great social skill builder. It forces you to interact with people on a daily basis—whether it’s through formal meetings or quick chats about what is the day’s menu for lunch. You need to learn how to get along with others, listen to them, and office politics is a great way to practice and learn exactly that. So make sure you know how to use office politics to your advantage! But remember: It’s not enough to simply listen.

To master it, you also have to practice active listening skills so that everyone feels like they are being heard and their opinions are respected. Active listening means concentrating on what someone else is saying instead of planning your next sentence or thinking of something else entirely. Practice using these tips when talking with colleagues and friends alike, as both groups have different needs and expectations.

3) Everybody is somewhat playing office politics

You need to get involved in office politics if you want to become successful in your career and learn when and how to handle them. The following tips will help you deal with office politics. If you want to be perceived as an important player, who is capable of contributing meaningful insights on issues, then it’s not enough to simply refrain from engaging in workplace-political behavior. At some point, it’s imperative that you learn how to get involved without provoking jealousy among your coworkers or angering executives who may perceive your involvement as offensive. Also everybody is involved with office politics without even realizing it. Therefore, you cannot be indifferent or uninterested for your own good.

One can get involved without even realizing it
One can get involved without even realizing it

Of course, there are some solutions for ensuring getting involved with office politics while continuing to maintain positive relationships with others. First of all, make sure your boss is aware and approves of your intentions. Before making any moves, make sure to consult with your boss about what you intend to do and why; if he or she doesn’t approve, there might be a good reason for it—make sure you understand what that reason is before proceeding. Know when and where office politics are appropriate as well.

4) Externalities that you don’t know may harm you

If you are not aware of the office politics that are constantly happening around you, you may as well miss the negative politics that may affect you. You will need neutralize such possible politics. If you’re not careful, they can harm your reputation. The best way to neutralize negative politics is to be open and honest with your colleagues. If you have noticed something going on that isn’t fair or right, let people know—it may be helpful for them to know what’s going on behind-the-scenes. You never know who might need to vent about a colleague or boss, so it’s better to have an ear available than not.

Make sure to preserve balance
Make sure to preserve balance

You also never want to burn bridges; even if you don’t like someone personally, you never want that person spreading bad things about you around the office because of their personal feelings. It could cause more problems than it solves in most cases. And remember: balance is key here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.