Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Understanding Office Politics

Fact: Not everyone will enjoy their work life experience. No matter how good the job is.

Job satisfaction does not come as a result of your remuneration or benefits (or lack of it) or from performance incentives only. Satisfaction from the job can be gotten through the apt application of the fine art of this wonderful concept called OFFICE POLITICKING

Office Politics are the strategies that people play to gain advantage, personally or for a cause they support... it is a fact of life of every organization. Maybe because of the negative connotation attached to it is the reason new employees or pious people tend to shrug their shoulders and say 'Well I cant get into office poiltics, I'll just do my work and keep my head down'. News Flash: You are that employee who would find it very easy to be frustrated on the job. 

Office politics is a game you play in order to get and do those things that are unwritten in the office policy, its the game you play to jump the lines and bureaucracies and even some unwritten due processes.... its a game played by 90% of the staff in an organization from the Managing Director to the COO to the office assistants. Ignoring it, or denying it or avoiding it is just tantamount to living in a fools paradise because  whether you acknowledge it or not, it is happening around and over you and if you are not careful you will be a victim of war...the casual observers get chewed and spat out first.

No organization has unlimited resources that can go round everyone equally, first is for you to know this and accept it that some people will get more than others, whether they deserve it or not is a matter of opinion...your opinion I mean. However to be amongst those who gets a fair share from the company, you need to know how to play the game of making the politics at your work place work for you.

Swim along.... or be eaten alive

Build Relationships
Before you rush head in into building relationships you must first identify the key players in the organization: Influencers, those in authority, the leader of the grapevine, the custodian of sensitive information etc. Identify those who one way or the other your relationship with them can help your growth in the organization, then build relationship with them. A phone call every now and then outside of office work wont kill you, a cocktail after office hours wont bankrupt you. Actively taking part in out of office activities with your colleague is how relationships are built. You have to build your visibility with the people who could be directly and/or indirectly responsible for your uprising or downfall in the office, cultivate these relationships based on trust and by being dependable.

Share Information 
Note this, I am not asking you to gossip anyhow, that can breed mistrust... what i'm saying is that giving a colleague an information that can help them with their job, is an act that will put them in your debts. 'Normally I wouldn't tell you this, however I think this will be of use to you...' that's what i'm talking about. Not petty gossip on how your boss is a meanie or how Mr. A is stealing from the office

Conflict Management
Its bound to happen, don't take it personally...its business. Deal with the business issue that has caused the conflict and forget the rest. Don't return trash talk for trash talk...proving a point is at the long run a pointless exercise trust me. And on no account should you run to your boss to whine about your disagreement with another colleague, that's just you being a tale bearer or better yet, one who can't manage issues. That's bad dude. Except if you find out that your colleague is going to trash talk you to your boss, in which case you have to get to your boss first. But remember, the use of tact should come into play here: '...oh by the way, Austin and I behaved rather poorly today, hmmm let me tell you about it'

Please those who matter
It was Bill Cosby who said ''...I don't know the secret to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody'. You can't please everybody...so don't try. However you need to satisfy those that matter, its hard trust me...when you have these strong conviction of what is right, what is best practice and you want to stand up for your colleague against your boss... DON'T. Take a deep breath, count to 20, and choose pleasing your Boss over your colleague. Its a cold cold world.

....to be continued


  1. Hehe...if you can't stand the office heat, get out of the kitchen!
    #Right on point nutty J!

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