CAREER BUILDER. You know what’s worse than low salary and unpaid overtime? Office politics. But in my case, I was more amused than stressed with it when I was still doing employment. You can’t avoid office politics. It’s everywhere. In fact, sometimes it’s even worse in church or ministry situations. There’s always bound to be someone in the workplace who has great ambitions for himself and will do whatever it takes to fulfill them–even kick out the boss.
But I have good news–you can win office politics without running for any position. I think it’s among my fortes. Since there’s no way but to get affected by office politics, I study and figure it out like a political analyst would. I always ask the who, why, what, and how. Office people often do things for two reasons: someone made them do it or they want to do it for someone. Once you see the driving force behind an action, it’s easy to answer the aforesaid questions. Then you know what exactly to do and where exactly to position yourself.
Office politics happens when little kingdoms or empires start popping up in the office. Someone first forms an alliance which he or she plans to rule over someday. Be friendly, but beware–make sure you remain neutral once alliances start forming. Soon, a small king or emperor will emerge from the alliance and will require allegiance to his tiny throne. And you’d see how co-employees start becoming subjects of his majesty. They do this for self interest as well, which is often better positioning and job security.
The safe side here is always to remain loyal to the company, Know its goals, vision and mission. Stick with them. Second, be obedient to your immediate boss as long as his or her instructions align with company goals. What if your boss deviates from them? Then consult the matter with the higher boss in line. But in my experience, it seldom comes to this. As long as your boss sees that you’re incorruptible, he will always think twice or thrice before making you do something foolish. What often happens is that the boss will look for someone corruptible and deal with him instead.
So the way to win is to know what the company is all about and stick with its objectives. No matter what politics is being played, they’d think twice before they involve you if they see that you know what’s proper. Jesus said, know the truth and the truth will set you free. You can be right in the middle of a fire fight, but if you know where your right position is, the bullets will just whiz past you.
I once found myself in a near shooting incident in a company I worked for as brand officer. Two ambitious guys were in a power struggle when one day one of them decided to bring a gun–and I was literally right in the middle of it. By God’s grace and protection, I was able to calm the gun wielder with a few casual talks.
Now, when things really get worse and your life is on the line, quit. Get out of the office and look for another opportunity. That’s another sure way of winning office politics without running for a position.
I collected my thoughts and experiences on winning office politics and developed my principles on how to be easily likable to most people, even amid office politics. It’s an e-book. To buy the e-book, simply click on How to be Easily Likable to Most People on “Links” on the right sidebar of this blog. The link will take you to Paypal for making the purchase. Then Paypal will take you back on a page here where you find a button you click on to get your PDF copy of the e-book.