From power-hungry bosses to back-stabbing colleagues, relationships in the workplace can be complicated and sometimes tense.
We will all be affected by office politics at one point or another (no matter how hard we try to avoid it).
In fact, research has shown that one-third of workers dread going into work because of their colleagues. While another study found that 33% of UK workers cite office politics as a major contributing factor to feelings of unhappiness in the workplace.
So, how do you avoid the drama? We’ve got a few suggestions.
Keep your friends close
Friendships are necessary at work. Studies show that when people do not feel like they belong to a group their physical and mental health suffers.
If you feel excluded by office politics try to make some friends. They will understand your situation better than anyone else. Lean on them for advice but be careful not to overshare.
A great way to avoid engaging in office politics is to keep your mouth shut. If you spend more time listening you are less likely to say something that may be used against you in the future.
While it may be tempting to chime in with a witty comment when your coworkers are slagging off the boss, don’t get involved. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Don’t sink to their level
If your colleague is constantly slagging you off or undermining your work you may want to sink to their level but you need to resist. You don’t want to appear petty. Plus you’re less likely to reach a solution if you’re being underhanded.
It is much better to ask them for a private conversation. Do not accuse them of anything. Instead, ask them why they acted the way that they did. This will give them time to reflect on what they have done.
Keep a record of your work
Is your colleague always taking credit for your projects? Maybe you’re not getting the recognition you deserve? There’s one solution, have a clear record of all your word. Record everything and make sure you cc the relevant people into your emails.
This is an easy way to let your boss know exactly what work you have done while also protecting your reputation.
Pay it forward
If you want to conquer office politics sometimes you need to fix the company culture from within. Lead by example. Step away from back-stabbing conversations and distance yourself from negativity.
Try kindness instead. Offer to help a colleague struggling with a Friday evening report or ask senior employees for their opinions. Engage in positive politics. A good attack is the best form of defense.